Ever since Donald Trump first announced he was running for president, he has been engaged in a never-ending feud with the mainstream media. That feud has continued through his presidency, as media outlets continue to take aim at him and his administration, and Trump continues to fire back.
Despite their differences, though, one high-level figure in the mainstream media admitted Monday that it’s not been all bad between Trump and the journalists who cover him.
According to Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, there is one key difference between how Trump and former President Barack Obama treated the media — the access the two leaders have provided to reporters.
Baron addressed The Poynter Journalism Ethics Summit in Washington. D.C., on Monday. During his talk, he reportedly noted that Trump is “better” in regard to media access than Obama was.
“It’s not like we had a love-fest with the Obama administration. We tried for 2 years to get an interview. We do better with the current president in terms of access than the last one,” Baron said, according to Scott Nover, a reporter who covered the event.
“It’s not like we had a love-fest with the Obama administration. We tried for 2 years to get an interview. We do better with the current president in terms of access than the last one.” – @PostBaron #PoynterEthicsSummit
— Scott Nover (@ScottNover) December 4, 2017
Another journalist in attendance, Politico’s Cristiano Lima, quoted Baron as saying, “He (Trump) likes to talk to the press as much as he demonizes us.”
— Cristiano Lima (@viaCristiano) December 4, 2017
Baron is not the only one to say express this sentiment. In October, ABC News White House reporter Jonathan Karl told Politico that he has had ample opportunity to ask Trump questions, especially during impromptu news briefings.
“I have probably had more opportunities to ask questions of President Trump over the past two weeks than I had of President Obama during the last two years of his presidency,” Karl said.
“The president is taking questions much more frequently in recent weeks and that is a good thing,” he added.
“There is no substitute for a formal press conference but, regardless of format, it is important to have the opportunity to ask the president questions and that is happening much more often.”
Trump has also given multiple exclusive interviews, including several to The New York Times.
In 2015, however, roughly three-quarters of the way into Obama’s presidency, a report from Columbia Journalism Review indicated that the then-president’s relationship with the media was not good.
“(T)he media most responsible for covering the president and his inner sanctum are given little insight into how decisions are made or who influences those decisions, whether from inside or outside the White House,” the report read.
“Evidence suggests that the relationship between the president and the press is more distant than it has been in a half century,” it added.
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