By Alex Altman
President Donald Trump’s crusade against “Fake News” has been one of the biggest headlines of his time in office. His pointed, personal and persistent attacks on the Mainstream Media have striven to not only discredit reporters, but also to intimidate them. Especially those whose reporting “undermines” his presidency, or at least the public’s perception of it.
While polls show Trump has succeeded at the former — a meager 32% of Americans say they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media — his attempts to silence the media have been shockingly futile.
So futile, in fact, they’ve managed to do the impossible: Make Journalism Great Again.
After years of layoffs, cutbacks and perpetual dread, publications from across the country have roared back to life since Trump took office. The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal all reported increases in subscriptions last year, while Trump’s favorite TV network to hate, CNN, recently polished off its third best January in network history.
But perhaps most shocking and promising of all is the effect Trump’s War on Fake News has rendered on the future of journalism. According to a new report, the 2017-2018 school year saw a record number of journalism majors. It’s a trend MarketWatch attributes to Trump.
“The news business has been an iffy career choice since the rise of free online news, with struggling media outlets shedding staff, and the advent of “fake news” and President Trump’s many criticisms of the press have presented challenges for the industry. So who would voluntarily embark on a journalism career these days? Quite a lot, it turns out.”
Applications for journalism school have spiked all over the country at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions. For an industry that was written off for dead for reasons that once seemed incurable, the numbers are completely staggering.
Among the schools reporting increases in applications, according to MarketWatch, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism saw a 10% upswing, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism saw a 24% bump, while USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism saw its highest-ever number of first-year applicants.
For the last decade, journalists have been searching for a beacon of hope to get them through the most difficult decade in their industry’s history. Little did they know it would come from the person who’s been most likely to tweet about its demise.