Covering Trump: Reflections from the Campaign Trail and the Challenge for Journalism
During the 2016 presidential election, traditional media often allowed Trump’s erratic comments to frame the terms of debate. But Trump’s success was not just based on capturing the press’ attention and dictating their focus: Trump also profited from a slew of disinformation.
Reflecting on personal experiences of covering the general election on the ground, this chapter examines how Trump’s message was conveyed in traditional right-wing outlets as such but also through alternative, non-mainstream sources. At numerous junctures, Trump took advantage—wittingly and unwittingly—of long-running failures by political and media elites to adequately engage with the realities, and complexities, of contemporary, globalised, American society. These difficulties hint at the much wider challenges for journalism in a post-Trump world, both in the United States and beyond.
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