Trump vs. the Media: is the US president forecasting closures?

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, predicts the bankruptcy of the New York Times and the Washington Post in 7 years: is this a case of censorship in the Venezuelan style?

Trump vs. the Media: is the US president forecasting closures?

The New York Times and the Washington Post are again the victims of Donald Trump's Twitter: the US president has predicted that both newspapers will close in 7 years. For Trump, these jorunals are fake news emissaries against his administration. The tense relationship between the US executive and the media comes before Trump took office, due to the alleged interference of Russia in the 2016 elections. The Washington Post was awarded this year with the Pulitzer Prize in the journalism category of investigation, for its reports on the links between the campaign of the now president and the Kremlin.

Leer en español: Trump vs. Medios de comunicación: ¿pronósticos de cierre?

Twitter is getting rid of fake accounts at a record pace. Will that include the Failing New York Times and propaganda machine for Amazon, the Washington Post, who will quote anonymous sources that, in my opinion, do not exist - They will both be out of business in 7 years!

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2018


Trump published this tweet a day after the Washington Post published a report in which it informs about the closure of more than 70 million accounts on Twitter. According to the report, the closure of accounts is due to pressure from Congress as a result of the manipulation of voters through the false accounts of this social network during the campaign of the 2016 presidential elections. The main promoters of these closures are Democrats, and since October 2017, closures have increased.

Read also: Maduro does not hallucinate: Trump raised the possibility of invading Venezuela 

The tense relationship with the media

The New York Times deputy director, Clifford Levy, took advantage of Donald Trump's pronouncement to respond, assuring that since Trump's arrival at the White House subscriptions have increased, with more than 3.7 million new subscribers, covering more countries.

. @nytimes began digital subscriptions in 2011. Look at the growth since then. And look at the spike since the election of @ realDonaldTrump : pic.twitter.com/ahIZQhHH7o

- Clifford Levy (@cliffordlevy) July 7, 2018


Since his arrival at the White House, Trump has been a direct critic of the media, with the exception of FOX News. According to him, the false news is only against his government.

Venezuela: censorship of information

The political analyst Juan Hernández Jiménez is aware of the existence of totalitarian countries, and without mentioning any specific case he exalts that when the political power censors prior to informing, it already incurs in the public's freedom of expression, because it does not give the media an opportunity to transmit truthful information. "Only the fact that a State controls its official advertising, hiring media of its preference, is a warning signal," says Oscar Mueller Creel of the Chicago Tribune, making Hernández's theory even more valid.

The National Union of Press Workers in Venezuela has the record closed media by the government: the figure is at least 49 closed media in the country during 2017, according to the president of this organization, Marco Ruiz. Ruiz released this information during the meeting with journalists, on June 23, at the headquarters of Radio Caracas Radio (RCR), according to AFP and EFE. Of those 49 media, 46 are broadcasters and 3 are television channels.

For Ruíz, "the Chavez government applies a systematic policy of siege and suffocation of all spaces that still allow free expression and the exercise of criticism and dissidence," which highlights that censorship goes against international media as well: CNN en Español (CNN's Spanish news broadcast and tv channel), NTN24, RCN and Caracol have also been affected by the government's siege. The general secretary of the National College of Journalists (CNP), Delvalle Canelón, at the meeting on Radio Caracas, warned that "it is reaching a very advanced stage in terms of control of opinion."

Democracy and freedom of the press

For Oscar Muller Creel, "a true democratic society is one that can influence the way the government acts. Perhaps the most important element that the community has to reach this knowledge, are the media: Radio, television and the written press. "Muller says that the media makes democracy live: information is transmitted, it is analyzed by the receiver, hence creating an own knowledge, which will lead him to establish an opinion and in the same way his way of participating democratically. The media, based on what Mueller said, are guarantors of freedom of expression and only succeed when there is freedom of the press.

In the same line of Mueller, Hernández Jiménez assures that a good democratic process has "a public opinion characterized by the diversity of criticism, what is achieved when the information system of a country presents two essential elements: freedom of information without there is another control than the filtering and classification criteria that the media itself decides; and media plurality, that is: the existence of sufficient means of communication to propagate information".


LatinAmerican Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Translated from "Trump vs. Medios de comunicación: ¿pronósticos de cierre?"