Friday, February 3, 2017

Colorado Water Congress and the New Media Environment

Post-truth and fake news were the topics at a Colorado Water Congress panel with Vincent Carroll and Joey Bunch. Carroll is the former editorial page editor of both the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News and still writes guest editorials for the Perspective section of the Sunday Post. Bunch, former Post reporter, is now with the Colorado Springs Gazette’s statewide political blog, Colorado Politics.

Bunch pointed out that dealing with a polarized news environment and fake news requires the news consumer to be more purposeful than in the past and roam across news sites and the political spectrums. It takes more effort to ensure the reported news is truly of the significance and has the meaning that’s been attached to it.

Carroll believes that national news organizations will continue to be healthy and Washington D.C. rich with a full range of opinion. But, he lamented the reduction from 500 to 100 working reporters for regional news in Denver. It has been a loss that reduces the coverage of local government and investigative news.

He also made the observation that, to some extent, Donald Trump became president because he violated the news norms of politics. He was unscripted, unconventional and unmanaged. Many people like his politically incorrect banter with the media.

I observed fights between Trump and the media that broke out at various times during the campaign have since the inaugural become a full fledge battle. The President regularly calls reporters “the most dishonest people in the world” and labels new reports and news agencies he doesn’t like “fake news.” And major news outlets daily label the President’s statements as false and without evidence.

This war will not diminish. Trump loves coverage and believes he needs to tweet to bypass the “dishonest press.” Much of the country’s press establishment believe he is unfit for the office or is enacting not just bad, but dangerous policies. They are going to stay on the beat. And both are going to stay in the fight.

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