How should journalists cover President Trump?

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, June 22, 2019, before boarding Marine One for the trip to Camp David in Maryland.
Susan Walsh | AP

No one disputes that President Trump plays by his own rulebook. His campaign and presidency present daily challenges to newsrooms across America.

A common piece of advice given to journalists is: don’t take the bait. Don’t let his statements lead your coverage. Don’t let his outrageous behavior change the subject. Don’t risk normalizing his views.

But news institutions feel caught. Jay Rosen, media critic and New York University professor, said it this way: “Reporting what he said today amplifies his falsehoods and hatreds, which is unacceptable, but ignoring what he said pretends it never happened, which is unacceptable in a different way.”

Can the entire system be overhauled in the midst of the 2020 campaign? And if so, what should newsrooms be doing differently to cover a president that flaunts the norms?

Wednesday, guest host Tiffany Hanssen spoke with two experts who have given the subject a lot of thought. And we want to hear from you. If you’re frustrated with how the media covers President Trump, what can we do better?


  • Jay Rosen is a media critic, writer and professor of journalism at New York University.

  • Mi-Ai Parrish has had a long career in journalism, including being the publisher of The Arizona Republic and The Kansas City Star. She currently teaches media innovation at Arizona State University.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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