Some 4th Graders Wrote A Valentine's Day Letter To Journalists At The Washington Post

"If someone sends you a mean email or letter you can ignore them, and remember that love 'Trumps' hate!"

The broadly-termed mainstream media has been the target of President Trump's ire since he launched his presidential campaign in 2015, and in his first few weeks in office, that relationship has soured even further. Trump has yielded his powerful platform on Twitter — and now in politics — to launch attacks on the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, even singling out individual journalists like NBC's Katy Tur for criticism. 

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In an increasingly polarized political and media climate — abetted by a president who repeatedly accuses established media outlets of "fake news" when they challenge or publish incriminating facts about him — it's not quite a surprise to see polls that show Americans' trust in mass media is at an all-time low. 

But there is plenty of support for those whose work has become increasingly challenging. On Wednesday, Post reporter Ishaan Tharoor shared a Valentine's Day letter from 4th grade students at a school in Washington, D.C. that thanked its journalists for their work. The letter read:

We want to say that we are sorry that people can be mean to you sometimes for just doing your job and we are sorry that your feelings are hurt time to time. We've all been bullied too and we know how you feel. This Valentine we made is to thank you for being strong and telling the truth. You have power in your voice, you have strength and we are proud of you. If someone sends you a mean email or letter you can ignore them, and remember that love "Trumps" hate! ... When we are old enough to be President we will support you even when you say things we disagree with because it's the truth and the truth is powerful and important. One day we may be reporters like you too because that's a cool thing to do.

Following an election result that prompted much finger-pointing and self-reflection among members of the media, journalists are now grappling with the near-daily barrage of conflicting statements from administration officials and accusations of bias and bogusness from President Trump himself. 

But contrary to his claims, mainstream media outlets are not "failing" as he described. The Times saw the largest subscription increase after the election since it introduced its paywall in 2011. Vanity Fair's subscription rates broke a new record after Trump slammed the magazine over a scathing and brilliant review on Trump Grill. Journalists are becoming wiser to Trump's tactics. And as more critical reports emerge of the close ties between Trump's aides and Russian officials, the responsibility to hold powerful figures accountable is more crucial than ever.

Cover image via Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

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