Holding power accountable in the age of Trump
At the 74th Annual Golden Globe Award this past weekend, Meryl Streep received the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award and, instead of reflecting upon her career, used her acceptance speech to condemn the abhorrent actions of President-elect Donald Trump.
During her time on stage, Streep focused on the profound effect Trump’s campaign had on her psyche in regard to his mockery of a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who is disabled, Serge Kovaleski .
Though we can take the time to redefine Streep’s position in critiques of her as a non-disabled woman, her speech pointed out Trump’s higher position of power and privilege over journalists, both on the campaign trail and over the next four years. With that, Streep called the audience to action to support the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), “because we’re going to need them going forward and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.” Trump took to Twitter to respond that Streep’s speech was influenced by, yet again, the “very dishonest media.”
The CPJ, which internationally protects the freedom of the press with diplomatic and financial assistance, receives about $1 million annually in donations. The CPJ received over 700 online donations on Jan. 8 – 140 times the normal amount for a typical Sunday evening.
Streep’s presence both on the Golden Globes’ stage and as a Hollywood icon allows her message to stand out amongst others. The influx of support to the CPJ indicates that the non-media public is in search of true information and accurate depictions of events that will transpire after the inauguration on Jan. 20. The press must be supported but held accountable to produce unbiased and ethical journalism.
The Editorial Board will not ignore this call to action. In an effort “to hold power to account [and] to call them on the carpet for every outrage,” The California Aggie will do its part in reporting unbiased news and holding ourselves and our community accountable. It is our position as your campus newspaper to suppress the urge to be volatile, discriminatory or partisan in search of an audience.
In 2017, our 102nd year of publication, The California Aggie will pursue the same journalistic ethical standards upon which we were established.