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Media Critic says ‘Send the Interns’ to Cover the Trump White House

February 09, 2017

A prominent media critic is calling for news organizations to stop sending top reporters to staged White House briefings where news takes a back seat to attacks on the media. Jay Rosen, author, blogger and journalism professor, will bring that message to the University of Idaho on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Rosen’s free public talk, “Send Interns to the Briefing Room: How the Press Should Cover Donald Trump,” begins at 7 p.m. in the courtroom of the UI College of Law, 711 Rayburn St. in Moscow. His appearance at the University of Idaho is sponsored by the School of Journalism and Mass Media and the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.

A member of New York University’s journalism faculty since 1986, Rosen is the author of “PressThink,” a blog about journalism, which he introduced in September 2003. In a recent post, Rosen wrote: “‘Send the interns’ means our major news organizations don’t have to cooperate with (the Trump administration’s assault on the press). They don’t have to lend talent or prestige to it. They don’t have to be props. They need not televise the spectacle live.”

Instead, Rosen suggests, news outlets should rethink coverage “from inside-out, where access to the White House starts the story engines, to outside-in, where the action begins on the rim, in the agencies, around the committees, with the people who are supposed to obey Trump but have doubts.” His provocative proposal sparked difficult conversations in journalism circles around the country.

In 1999, Yale University Press published Rosen’s book, “What Are Journalists For?” about the rise of the civic journalism movement. Rosen wrote and spoke frequently about civic or public journalism for a decade. From 1993 to 1997, he was director of the Project on Public Life and the Press, funded by the Knight Foundation.

As a press critic and reviewer, he has published in The Nation, Columbia Journalism Review, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, and others. Online, he has written for, and In 2008, he was the co-publisher, with Arianna Huffington, of, which allowed anyone who was interested to sign up and contribute to campaign coverage for the Huffington Post.

Media Contact:
Steve Smith
Clinical Assistant Professor
UI School of Journalism and Mass Media

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The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, a research and Extension center in Twin Falls, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to more than 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference and Sun Belt Conference. Learn more: