Walter Robinson, the current Cronkite School Donald W. Reynolds Visiting Professor, answers a question about the media’s role in Donald Trump’s election. His “Must See Monday” speech in the First Amendment Forum about the future of democracy and investigative journalism was attended by over 100 people. Photo by Anya Magnuson/ASU Now

‘Spotlight’ editor: Trump paradoxically good for journalism

Boston Globe editor Walter V. Robinson says the president has awakened the watchdogs who ‘are now barking so loudly’

February 28, 2017

“The very person who wants to cast out the watchdogs has awakened them,” said Walter V. Robinson. “And the watchdogs are now barking so loudly that much of the public is astir as well.”

Robinson led the Globe’s Spotlight team, which won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its work uncovering hundreds of cases of sex abuse by priests and the church’s attempts to hide it. He is currently the Donald W. Reynolds Visiting Professor, teaching investigative journalism to students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

“To the new president, journalists are scum. Not just some of us. All of us.

“This effort to delegitimize journalism is a major imperative of his White House.”

But it’s reinvigorated investigative journalism.

“To me, the magnificence of the First Amendment has lost a little of its luster because there are many fewer journalists to exercise the rights it guarantees,” he said.

But he noted that there has been an increase in non-profit investigative journalism and he noted that many news outlets have seen an increase in subscriptions the past few months.

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