The Radio Television Digital News Association’s First Amendment task force is urging journalists not be intimidated by Sunday’s presidential tweet that some see as endorsing violence against the media.
“Now, more than ever, responsible journalists in the U.S. should keep seeking the truth and reporting facts,” said RTDNA incoming executive director Dan Shelley. “We, as reporters, have a constitutionally guaranteed duty to be the public’s conduit to factual information about what the White House and other government institutions are doing on their behalf. This is not the time for journalists to be intimidated."
“At the same time, RTDNA encourages all reporters to be mindful of their safety while engaged in fulfilling their obligations to serve the public. Whenever high-profile public officials and public figures express open contempt toward responsible journalism, it enables, and almost gives permission to, their supporters to act out aggressively against the news media," Shelley said.
The statement comes after President Donald Trump on Sunday morning tweeted a video showing him at a wrestling match pummeling a man whose head had been replaced by a CNN logo, taking his battle against the news media to the next level.
CNN responded to the tweet in a statement, saying, “It’s a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters.… We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”