What Does the CNN Lawsuit Mean for Journalism?

CNN reporter Jim Acosta pictured at campaign rally for Donald Trump in Las Vegas, Nevada.

by Reina Garcia

On Tuesday, CNN filed a lawsuit against President Trumpafter he revoked one of their reporters’ access to the White House. Jim Acosta, the CNN reporter was persistently questioning the President’s dissension that immigrants are “invading” the country, is CNN’s Chief White House correspondent.

It is not news that the current political climate under Trump has increased tensions between himself and the media, but it is a journalist’s sole responsibility to report on information that would otherwise never come into question. A right provided by the First Amendment, having freedom of the press at jeopardy at the hands of the Presidentonly aggravates the relationship of trust that journalists have with the people more.

When Acosta was questioning the visibly angry President, he was called a “terrible” and “rude” person, an “enemy of the people,” which is an inaccurate description of a journalist who aims to aid the people. Trump’s statements not only defame Acosta but the profession as a whole. When it comes to these public forms of speaking, the First Amendment forbids selectively choosing who gets to voice their opinion, in Acosta’s case, the First Amendment was clearly violated. This case similar to a case in 1977, Sherrill v. Knight, where a journalist requested press credentials for the White House and was denied by the Secret Service with no explanation.

After a court ruling on Fridaystating that Acosta would have his press pass returned, the President stated that he will have “rules and regulations” on how reporters should act when at the White House.

[written for Discovering Journalism class]