“So, why are you here?” asked John Ullmann, a renowned former editor at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. Walking around the classroom in his hooded top, with a frown on his face and an angry look, he was summing up all our answers with the same phrase: “Not good enough.”
Farmers in Tracy, a rural town in south-western Minnesota, predominantly voted for Donald Trump in last year’s presidential election. But even some of them criticize the president for his late-night Twitter rants. We discovered this during our three-day visit to Tracy last week. All four Trump supporters I spoke to told me more or less the same: the president should get rid of his bad Twitter habit and focus on what is really important – for example tax reforms.
Many editors in Europe share this overwhelming and slightly disheartening belief that if anything happens to newspapers in the United States, it will sooner or later happen elswhere, too. Rather than being an inevitable destiny, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy: newspapers copy American solutions, and often create similar challenges. In that sense, the American media market is an experimental playground for the rest of the world.
It will probably be one of more controversial and provocative blog posts at this website. It also happens to be my first one. Long story short, it is about how inaccurancies in one of last week’s lectures about freedom of speech made me think about… yes, freedom of speech.