[Commentary] President Donald Trump’s derision hasn’t just seeped into the public consciousness; it’s worked its way into journalists’ bloodstreams, too. Take bad economics, mix in the devaluing of journalism as a profession—both from within and without—and the downgrading of truth in American culture, and you have a recipe for despair. There’s a growing impetus for our best journalists, now and in the future, to write off the profession entirely and opt for a life that’s relatively sane.
The day after President Trump leaves office, reporters will no doubt wake up with a spring in their collective step, feeling lighter. But their working lives won’t be easier; if anything, they’ll be more challenging. The industry’s churn cycle is nowhere near finished; the same old worries will pile on top of other worries, the same fears on top of fears. Only the cloud of President Trump will be gone. We’ll no longer have the president of the United States shaking his fist at us, goading us on to commit journalism, whatever the cost. What we will have is an industry full of trauma survivors, with further shocks in store.
[Bob Moser is the former editor of the Texas Observer and executive editor of The American Prospect.]