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Is news media responsible for the election of Donald Trump?

By Dawn McMullan


Dallas, Texas, USA


Why did he actually become president?” Urlik Haagerup, executive director at DR News and founder of Constructive Institute, asked at the 2017 INMA World Congress in New York City.

He was, of course, talking about U.S. President Donald J. Trump.

One possible answer?

“Donald Trump got so much air time because a lot of news organisations — especially on TV — overexposed him at a time when he was not really that big. He got media exposure for US$1.9 billion, which he would’ve had to pay in advertising for getting that kind of exposure. 

“Media loved Donald Trump because he talked into the news criteria of news media, which is … conflicts, drama, crooks, and victims. That’s what Donald Trump created each time he opened his mouth.”

And the news media creates similar pictures, Haagerup says. 

“People make decisions not based on facts but on what they think are the facts, the perception of reality. Then people in United States had a feeling that the world was falling apart, that the economy was worse, the terrorism was worse, the immigration crisis was much worse than it actually was. News media are also to blame for that because we angle our stories on the extreme.

“And when we do so, we paint a picture which is not correct. Not that we tell lies. I’m not talking about fake news. I’m talking about that the real problem is news. The news culture that we have that we angle stories on the extreme things — on the conflict and the drama and the crooks and the victims. And that paints pictures in people’s minds.”

About Dawn McMullan

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