The murder of five employees of an Annapolis, Maryland newspaper by a reader nursing a years-long grudge over a story on his criminal conviction for harassing a woman was a horrifying, extreme example of a harsh reality editors everywhere face every day: Some people get really, really angry about the news and it’s a daily slog to defuse that rage and educate the public on the vital role of the press in a free society.
In an era of tribal politics and hateful discourse, against a backdrop of the president’s relentless vilification of the press as “enemies of the people,” and with polls including a Poynter survey showing only one in five Republicans trusts the news media, there is more vitriol being spewed and magnified by online trolls and bots than most of us can remember in our lifetimes.
After the horrific attack at the Capital Gazette, it’s more important than ever that we take every opportunity – in our stories, on our “about” tabs on homepages, and in encounters with the public – to explain our mission: Who we are, what we do, why it matters.
“Part of my job as editor is to write measured replies to people who are in such a spitting rage over what they read in the paper that I wonder how they function in daily life,” Dallas Morning News editor Mike Wilson tweeted after the shooting, an observation echoed by editors I talked to from newsrooms across the country.
“Journalism has always been
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/news/can-journalists-counteract-hatred-toward-press-it-starts-explaining-what-we-do