President Donald Trump’s relationship with journalists, at best, has been rocky, which makes a recent bill that he signed all the more surprising.
Shortly before the Christmas holiday, President Trump signed into law a bill aimed at commemorating fallen journalists.
H.R. 3465 was unanimously approved by Congress earlier in the year. And, on Wednesday, the White House announced that the president had signed it into law.
H.R. 3645 is being called the “Fallen Journalist Memorial Act.” According to the White House’s press release, the Fallen Journalist Memorial Act “authorizes the Fallen Journalist Memorial Foundation to establish a commemorative work in the District of Columbia to commemorate America’s commitment to a free press by honoring journalists who sacrificed their lives to that cause.”
The Fallen Journalist Memorial Foundation has the same goal as its mission statement: “to commemorate America’s commitment to a free press by honoring journalists who have sacrificed their lives in service to that cause.”
What will it do?
David Dreier, the Chairman of the Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation, put out a statement following President Trump’s signing of the bill.
Dreier thanked the president and explained in more detail what the bill will actually do.
“The memorial will honor the reporters, photojournalists, producers, editors, and others who have died while performing their jobs as journalists,” Dreier said. “It will demonstrate to our citizens and to visitors from around the world that our country values a free press, honors the sacrifices of journalists, and supports the family, friends, and colleagues of the fallen.”
Dreier added that the “Foundation looks forward to beginning a collaborative process that brings together the journalism community, freedom of the press advocates and other stakeholders to design, develop, construct and maintain a memorial of historical and lasting significance with private funds.”
The current state of affairs
The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that “Globally, at least 30 journalists were killed in 2020; 21 of those were singled out for murder in retaliation for their work, a jump from the previous year’s 10 murders, while others were killed in combat or crossfire or on another assignment that turned dangerous. One media worker was also killed. Mexico, Afghanistan, and the Philippines had the most retaliatory killings.”
It may come as a surprise to some that President Trump signed this bill considering that, at one point, he even referred to the mainstream press as “the enemy of the people.” But, that doesn’t mean that the president doesn’t believe in protecting the freedom of the press — he does, as this bill goes to show.
What he doesn’t support is partisan propaganda, which is what much of the mainstream media churns out here in America.