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Media is crucial, not the enemy

It is one of the jobs of a free and independent press to work to hold elected officials accountable.

As a result, there have been many politicians of all persuasions who have disliked the press. Some have disagreed with media coverage of them, some have avoided the media entirely, some have tried to control what the media can access.

Few, if any, have gone so far in disparaging the press as President Donald Trump.

His rhetoric referring to the media as “Fake News” and “the enemy of the people” is dangerous and dishonest.

Media organizations and the people who work for them are not perfect. But they are trying, every day, to make their communities better.

They are investigating how public money gets spent, whether laws are being followed, whether standards are being met. There have been countless misdeeds throughout our nation’s history that would have gone unchecked if not for the media.

They are also connecting people, telling stories about people and organizations doing amazing things, letting communities know about people or organizations who need help, providing access to advice on any number of topics, and much more.

Most of us in the media are regular people trying to make a difference in the community and trying to guide our families as best we can. We are your neighbors, not your enemy.

The Rochester Business Journal is proud to stand with the Boston Globe and hundreds of publications across the country in denouncing the harmful rhetoric from President Trump about the media’s role in this country.

A free and independent press is crucial to a functioning democracy.

We are here to work with and for our communities. If you have problems with us, talk to us.

But we would hope that if you hear people referring to us as “fake” or “the enemy,” you will set them straight. The more the public distrusts the media, the easier it is for officials to ignore the public’s needs.

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