20 February 2024

Martin Baron: Journalism in the face of a possible return of Donald Trump

The Republican leader would use all possible legal weapons against the press, according to the former executive editor of The Washington Post.
Miami (February 20, 2024) - If Donald Trump returns to the White House, he will undoubtedly use his power to punish the media he views as political enemies, said the prestigious journalist and former executive editor of The Washington Post, Martin Baron.

"If he (Trump) wins another four years, we owe it to the American public to make that effort again, with greater vigor, reporting frankly on how Trump is using his immense power," Baron said in an interview with Hora de Cierre, the magazine of the Press Institute of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA).

The journalist, who at the end of last year presented his book "Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos and The Washington Post" where he describes the tensions within the main newspaper of the U.S. capital during Donald Trump's first administration, estimated that in a second presidential term the former Republican president would use "all the legal weapons at his disposal" to punish the media.

Baron announced that in May a Spanish publisher will publish the Spanish version of his latest book and, at the same time, he praised Latin American journalists who stand up to power in almost every country in the region. However, Baron advised caution to his colleagues in the southern part of the continent who face even greater dangers than in the United States.

"Of course, while journalists must be courageous, they must also protect themselves. If they are arrested, imprisoned, attacked or killed, they are not doing themselves, their families, their media or the public any favors," he noted. "Each journalist and each media outlet will have to evaluate for themselves what is the best way to ensure the safety of the staff and also the sustainability of the business," he added.

In his interview with Hora de Cierre, Baron also addressed other current issues in journalism such as the use of generative Artificial Intelligence, international coverage in U.S. media and the difficult relationship between professional journalists and social networks.

See the full text of the interview with Martin Baron here.

IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.