Truthcast: When Journos Are The Target

CNN’s Jake Tapper, and An Object Lesson In Personal Brands

The moment CNN’s Jake Tapper finished a tough interview with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, passionate supporters of the President began to fight back, diving deep into Tapper’s background and posting to Twitter anything unsavory they could find.

The #TapperDirtFile was born. Axios’s Jonathan Swan even found sources who told him that the effort was quasi-organized by pro-Trump activists.

As Gothamist reported, the Internet leapt to Tapper’s defense. Along with the alleged “dirt,” pro-Tapper (or anti-Trump) Twitter users posted innocuous and humorous facts, like “Yells “We’ll have to leave it there!” every time he finishes a workout. #TapperDirtFile.”

The response drowned out the attempt to delegitimize Tapper. But it won’t be the last time that journalists find themselves targets for personal attacks.

Faculty adviser Laura E. Davis joined the Annenberg Truth Squad to discuss her thoughts on how journalists can protect their brand.

One of insights that we arrived at: younger journalists are used to online bullying, and often let things roll off their back. Older journalists are still acclimating themselves to this new form of engagement.

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