What Trump Means for the Media

As photographers we’re all, in the broadest sense, media representatives. For this reason allow me the following thoughts. The 45th president of the United States of America isn’t a protectionist, but what can be produced back home shall be produced back home. Even before assuming office, POETUS Donald J. Trump received the support of car makers and tech companies to refocus on U.S. investments, something that seems long forgotten. On paper it looks like a reverse of globalization, yet the clock can’t just be turned back. We’ll continue to ship consumer products from lower-cost markets, but more and more people start realizing what the costs of globalization are. Personally, I prefer to pay a higher price for products knowing they’re produced under fair conditions in my own environment and create jobs and sustainable development.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump | Andrew Harnik / Associated Press
This, in essence, is what Trump is mostly about. Rearranging old deals and clean up vested interests. At least that’s what he’s claiming. Since everything seems politicized. You may loath Trump or not, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt to prove what he promises.

And Trump is more. He’s the best thing that could have happened to the media. Newspapers, magazines, TV networks and whatever’s published, journalists can’t get enough of the man and his clan. Why? Trump knows how to create news. He’s self-made political royalty, a shirts-sleeved verbal brute who doesn’t care much about protocol and diplomacy. He’s a unique story. Add the glitter of his lifestyle, wife and kids. American royalty.

Personally, again, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. Trump reinvigorates the media. The media industry flourishes under Trump. It’s not just Trump’s use of Twitter that puts a spell on oh so many. Media are back in the limelight, and are reminded what their mission is. People now have much more choices to get information. The role of traditional media outlets such as TV and newspapers is eroding. Journalists not feeling the pulse of what’s happening feel increasingly bitter how “ignorant” a large part of society has become. In the long run this means more transparent, accountable reporting. Tenacity, folks!

It’s sure not the end of press freedom as some claim. News media don’t have to report what pleases the rulers. Yet one can’t just report according to polls and what the establishment likes. And it’s easy to be dazzled by Trump, the master media manipulator. He’s a wholly unconventional and unprecedented president. There will be scandals, and media have to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff without displaying the old complacent arrogance.

Good news are no news, that’s the old saying. Yet he harnessed the people’s discontent. He’s the elected man of the hour, unthinkable only a few years ago. So fasten your seat belt and get the popcorn ready. Media-wise, it’s a hell of a ride ahead. It’s getting personal. Talk paradigm shifts. Whether some media — and major European leaders — like it or not.

  • right_writes

    So Dan, with those views, you must be besties with Mike Johnston of “The Online Photographer”?

    BTW: I agree with your “wait and see” mantra, even though I am not living in the USA… We have a similar situation over here….

    The “remoaners” cannot visualise a different scenario, so they label us “brexiteers” with all sorts of (in their eyes) damning labels.

  • Not aware of Mike Johnston’s “political views”… Trying to keep an open mind, that’s it. As someone who doesn’t belong to the privileged classes I feel it’s time for some pragmatic directional changes…

  • Dariano Bisotnik

    as a non American (I lived there for 7 years tho) Donald Duck knows one thing: how to get publicity and while some say “no news is good news” others say “any publicity is good publicity”.
    I think the latter worked for him :-)
    I could pile on my view on him as an external observer but I don’t think this post is not about politics but the use of media, right?

  • Pile on, Dariano!