Journalism has recently made a resurgence when people on social media started the hashtag #PressOn to encourage others to personally invest in journalism. After journalism outlets refused to muddle the facts for President Donald Trump’s administration, Trump called the news “dishonest” and described the media as “the opposition party.”
As a means to support those journalism outlets that fought against the President of the United States, the pro-subscription hashtag #PressOn arose to encourage the press to provide factual information, despite the President’s efforts to hide his faults. It first originated from a private message thread that took Twitter by storm. The thread, which included journalists and employees of sports and entertainment fields, was started by the director of programming strategy at Bleacher Report, Jordan Brenner, who stated that “free press is essential to democracy.”
Many celebrities, including Ben Stiller, J.J. Redick, and Steve Kerr, took to Twitter to support the campaign as well. Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors, attached a picture of his subscription to The Washington Post and tweeted, “I subscribed to the Washington Post today because facts matter. #PressOn.” Similarly, Ben Stiller, an American actor, tweeted a photo of his subscription to ProPublica and stated, “We all need to accept the same truths. Facts are facts. Subscribe to a real journalism outlet. Tweet your receipt. #PressOn.”
Despite the administration’s efforts, newspapers, radio, and television outlets have begun to see a growth in viewers and subscribers as people are becoming more and more inclined to read about the political disorder that erupted during the 2016 election and that continues to plague the current presidency. For example, CNN news saw a 94 percent increase during the week of Trump’s inauguration, even after Trump said that CNN produced “fake news.” Trump also attacked the New York Times in a tweet that read, “Somebody with aptitude and conviction should buy the FAKE NEWS and failing @nytimes and either run it correctly or let it fold with dignity!”
In television shows and movies, journalists are placed into a bad light, as they are perceived as publishing news that makes a certain person, such as a politician, look good to the public, even if it isn’t true. The hashtag represents the journalists who have decided to provide news, even if they have to oppose the President.
As a journalist for the Korea Daily, I would also advise you as a reader to continue to #PressOn and support the news.