The challenges ahead for journalism covering the Trump presidency: What's in store for the media under the new US administration? How will American reporters adapt?
Coverage of Donald Trump's inauguration was broadcast across US news channels but the early signs for what the future might hold for American media seems ominous. Amid what is known as "the honeymoon period" between new presidents and the press, Donald Trump has succeeded in renewing hostilities with CNN and BuzzFeed after running stories he did not approve of.
Donald Trump has been building on something that's been coming along for a long time now, which is that we're a very partisan society. We're very divided. The press has become a whipping boy.
News of the the White House press corps potentially being moved out of the West Wing - a means of setting the tone with the media - where, for decades, reporters have had easy access to senior officials, has also produced torn opinions. Where some argue that this is a sign of disrespect and driving a wedge further between journalists and White House officials, others claim this is exactly what American journalism needs.
"Having been a White House correspondent myself and having advocated for them when I was the Bureau Chief at CNN, the briefing room location for the press, covering the president of the United States is vital. And really sets a tone and demonstrates a level of access and accountability that's virtually unprecedented in the world," says Frank Sesno, a former CNN White House correspondent. However, even Sesno himself feels there may be a positive spin to this change in access.
He says: "This is where I think there could be a journalistic spring. Donald Trump is very quickly going to put very serious issues on the table. We're going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something else. There are a host of questions that go with that: Who's helped? Who's hurt? How does it work? Where does the money come from? That's an opportunity to dive deep and really explain to people."
But as the president clashes with reporters during press conferences and proceeds to completely discredit entire outlets that his administration disagrees with, will this change have the desired effect?
"The incoming administration strategy, and Trump's specifically, is to discredit reporting that they don't like and that tends to run parallel with whatever they find unflattering or against their cause," says journalist and author Sarah Smarsh. "So long as we have a free press, I think that it's in their best interest and the country's best interest to not assume victim mode and to embrace the power that exists to chip away at the forces that will chip away at them."
Contributors: Frank Sesno, former CNN White House correspondent; Sarah Smarsh, journalist; Margaret Sullivan, media columnist, The Washington Post; Alex Zaitchik, journalist.
Source: Al Jazeera