Writing 220: The President and the Press

My final project considers the topic of misinformation in terms of the clash between the Presidency and the press over control of the truth. The concept sprouted directly from the verbal clash between President Trump and CNN Reporter Jim Acosta at the White House in November, as claims that President Trump’s behavior is unprecedented emerged. These claims and the clear despise President Trump has for the media made me wonder about past presidents’ relationships with the press corps that covered them. What I found both erases the notion that President Trump’s behavior is unprecedented while also revealing there is something different about President Trump which makes him more dangerous to the freedom of the press. The entire experience of researching, analyzing, and reflecting on this topic, which took me all the way through the history of the United States, has been the most challenging, thought-provoking, and rewarding piece of writing I have taken on.

I have grown substantially as a writer this semester. The focus Writing 220 places on the process of writing was its greatest gift to me. My largest challenge as a writer has always been getting the ideas in my mind onto the page. Writing 220 forced me to dissect the way I went about writing something, breaking up each experiment into sections. Reflection was also another aspect of this class which allowed me to grow as a writer. Reflecting became synonymous with learning in this class for me. Each experiment pushed me in unique ways and reflecting on each one made me more prepared for the next one. I will carry this habit of reflecting in my future writing.

As you go about reading my final project I ask you to consider the driving question behind it: who determines the truth and what forces impact our understanding of it? As I dissect, that question has only become more muddled over time, but it’s worth struggling over. The relationship between the president and the press has had concrete consequences on the lives of Americans for centuries, and it will continue to impact us and adapt with changing technologies in our lifetimes. I hope you reflect on and struggle with the concepts I flesh out as much as I did. Enjoy.

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