Daily Video

December 8, 2016

Trump uses Twitter to bypass media

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Essential question

How has social media changed the way people communicate?


In keeping with his habits on the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump continues to bypass the mainstream media by communicating with the public directly rather than using more traditional outlets.

Since the election, Trump has yet to hold a formal press conference and regularly travels without a press pool. These practices have left reporters concerned about their level of access to the President-elect and their ability to report the news in an accurate and timely manner.

One method Trump uses to bypass reporters is through Twitter, where he has recently spoken out on a wide range of topics from the Air Force One replacement program to considerations for his cabinet.

According to Forbes reporter Micheline Maynard, the unique aspect of Trump’s direct interaction with the American people is his unpredictability.

“Mr. Obama tweets a little bit, but it’s fairly structured. This is not structured at all,” Maynard said. “You almost have to take the information as the starting point, because you can’t simply repeat what he’s tweeted. You have to give it a little bit of context.”

Although Maynard has seen news organizations react in different ways to Trump’s tweets, she observed they consistently deem his statements worthy of reporting.

“Because he’s the president-elect, because everybody is looking for clues about what kind of president he will be, anything he says right now is newsworthy. But I am watching news organizations that just repeat it like they’re stenographers,” said Maynard.


Key terms

mainstream media — traditional forms of mass communication, such as newspapers, television and radio

press pool — a group of news gathering organizations that combine their resources in the collection of news

stenographer — a person employed to take notes verbatim

Warm up questions (before watching the video)
  1. Do you use social media? What are some popular social media apps?
  2. What have you heard about Donald Trump’s tweets?
  3. What does it mean for something to be newsworthy?
Critical thinking questions (after watching the video)
  1. Why do you think President-elect Donald Trump uses Twitter instead of reporters to talk to the public?
  2. Do you think journalists should report on all of Trump’s tweets? Why or why not?
  3. How much access to the president do you think reporters should have?
More video:

Check out Extra’s Daily News Story: Did fake news influence the outcome of Election 2016?

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