Free Press – NOT The Enemy Of The People

Media and press have never been more villainized and attacked in the United States than they are right now. Throughout the history of the press, there have been seasons when the media has been respected, even held in high esteem. The free press has been dubbed the fourth estate, meaning the fourth group to balance the other branches of government, judicial, executive, legislative and now the press. The press hasn’t always been honorable. During the days of ‘Yellow Journalism’ the free press was able to utilize the influence of media to fan flames and ignite an entire war.  Fake News

In the recent past, there has been much dangerous dialogue toward journalists. The free press has fallen victim to a long-term, calculated, profound yet blatant smear campaign. The current administration has run this campaign to gain or retain the trust of its supporters, and defame the main information media whose goal is to arm the public with the knowledge and truth.

Journalists have been demonized in such a way that the support base has become fearful of the press and has begun to believe the ‘enemy of the people’ lie.  This fear has even led to acts of violence. I submit to all who will heed, that free press is NOT the enemy of the people.

For or Against American Freedom

SlanderoFreedom of Press_FB Img 1us attacks on journalists should be condemned as heinous acts against democracy and free speech. Since the 2016 campaign season, supporters of the current president have been incited to act against journalists through inflammatory language, using terms like ‘Fake News Media’ and ‘alternative facts’. The result – distrust of the media by the general public that otherwise relies on the media for good information.

People who take this stance are encouraged to act out against members and purporters of the media in what they feel is a patriotic act protecting America. They are attacking, however, the very institution that has kept them free since the birth of the country. You can read about how the terms ‘Fake News’ and ‘Enemy of the People’ have been used by the current government entities at

Emulating Nero

The history of the term ‘Enemy of the free people’ is a long and bloody one. Leaders throughout history have used the term to bring a nation together against a single enemy. Use of the phrase is used in a negative context to retain power and trust by a ruling entity. A person or group in power will use the phrase to unite subordinates to create a rift in another group. The process is called Otherization and creates an Us vs.Them mentality.

Much in the way a country’s nationalism and patriotism are never stronger than during war times, this phrase works to unite the people against any entity that threatens the power of the current regime and helps to ensure that they retain this power.

Historically speaking, the phrase ‘Enemy of the People’ was used during the French Revolution to refer to anyone who opposed the government during what became known as the Reign of Terror.  

It was used to refer to German Jews by Hitler’s Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbel, calling the Jewish population “A sworn enemy of the German people”.

It was used by Joseph Stalin during the Bolshevik regime to refer to anyone who disagreed with the newly formed Soviet Union. You can read the full history of the term in recent conflict at

Where we Stand

PRSA’s (Public Relations Society of America) stance on this concept is strong. The principle of free press was never intended to be political and should never be used as a political tool. As a PR business committed to the PRSA Code of Ethics, we are united in this stance. The Chair of PRSA has issued a statement reaffirming the position of the organization against this attack on free press and commits to this standard alongside multiple organizations and publications that seek to provide honest and transparent news regardless of the political climate.

From the chair, Anthony D’Angelo in August, 2018, ”Today we join with our compatriots in the news media to proudly affirm the Fourth Estate as a vital engine of democracy. Without it, and without freedom of thought and expression as provided by the First Amendment, informed decision-making is not possible and individual freedoms suffer… In today’s political climate, there will inevitably be charges that this statement reflects a political stance or bias. It does not. Rather, it affirms the U.S. Constitution and the values that transcend political parties and other affiliations; in fact, the statement is co-signed by the Global Alliance and other organizations with significant international representation that also subscribe to those values.” Read the full statement at

Not the Enemy of The People
It is becoming clear that there is danger behind this statement between the attacks on journalists and the events that soon follow the use of the phrase. It is also clear that it is increasingly important to protect the fourth estate as a bastion of the first amendment. Chemistry PR and Multimedia adheres to the ethics and integrity of PRSA, and stand’s arm in arm with the Free Press. Dedicated to honesty, integrity and transparency, Chemistry PR and Multimedia promises to uphold and defend the First Amendment.

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