CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - "We need government and we need media. Journalists aren't supposed to be the government's friend, but that doesn't in any way make them the enemy." -Me watching Me on TV
That was me last February, when a brand new President called the national media the enemy of the people. I didn't think he was right back then, but in the past few weeks, he's doubled down on those words. You may hear others in the journalism community talking about this subject as well this week, all in response to an open editorial from one newspaper.
Journalism organizations are now forced to take seriously the threats—often physical—hurled at them during certain political events. My question is "why?"
I realize the job has to be frustrating, and in the age of social media, literally anything that any President does is immediately criticized and vilified, no matter what it is.
That has to wear on anyone, but the solution can't be to demonize an important tent pole in democracy. It's our job to make sure elected and public officials are doing what it is they say they are doing. It's our job to hold them accountable for the promises they make, and the statements they tell us are true.
Yeah, that means a lot of time that puts the media at odds with those in office. We have a lot of "What's," a lot of "When's," "Where's," "How's" and a ton of "Why's."
I'm sure that gets annoying. I know it does when my 6-year-old asks me 50 of them on a car ride to the store. But just like my answers give my daughter information, those questions keep the voters informed – and in the end they have all the power: not the media, not public officials, not even the President.
That's what makes democracy great.
We all have something to do each day. Some people teach, some people are doctors, some people keep our streets clean, some people raise their children or care for their elders.
Public officials go to work each day to make the world a better place, and as media we all go to work each day to let you know what they did while you were busy.
We must be able to hold those in power accountable.
If we don't, who does?