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Hatcher column in Huffington Post uses work of current, former students to defend the role of the press

Associate Professor of Communications Anthony Hatcher writes about the professionalism and passion he has seen in his current and former journalism students.

The Huffington Post has published a recent column by Anthony Hatcher, associate professor of communications, that offers a retort to recent criticisms of journalists by President Donald Trump, using examples of work by current and former Elon journalism students.  

Anthony Hatcher, associate professor of communications

​Hatcher's column, titled "Is the Press the Enemy of the People, Or the People's Best Friend?," followed a February tweet by Trump saying "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!" Hatcher writes about professionalism and passion he's seen in the students he has taught and teaches now.

That prompted him to reach out to current and former students to ask for an example of a news story they have written, produced or taken part of that makes them particularly proud of what they do for a living. "The response was immediate, as they are smarting from the sting of unwarranted criticism from the president," Hatcher writes. 

From the responses Hatcher received and included in his column: 

Ethan Smith '14, Crime Reporter, Goldsboro, NC News-Argus

“I saw your Facebook status and wanted to send you this series of articles covering the federal trial of local superior court judge Arnold O. Jones II for bribery and corruption. I am sending this to you not only because I’m proud of being trusted to cover such a high-profile trial at 24, but also because I was the only reporter at the trial. ...

"If I had not attended the trial and hunkered down in Wilmington for a week, the public would be in the dark about the events that unfolded during this trial, and all they would know about is the charges against the judge and his subsequent conviction. There would have been nobody to share the details of the actions of the attorneys, reactions of the family, what evidence was and was not allowed and why that mattered, all while simultaneously ensuring the court treated him fairly (they did).

“These things are important because they educate people on nuances and inner-workings so they can develop a greater understanding of what happened, instead of just snatching their attention for five minutes for the big headlines.”

Owen Covington,
3/2/2017 9:15 AM