OUR VIEW: Dirty war against press must end

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White Lake School District has a brand new school.

We know this because we featured it in a front-page story of The Daily Republic on Wednesday. The Aurora County Standard in White Lake has also written extensively about the topic.

In Rapid City on Tuesday, police worked to resolve a hostage situation, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Another well-respected South Dakota news-gatherer, the Freeman Courier, reported the 2019 South Dakota Chislic Festival is set for July 27 in Freeman.

These stories appeared recently in the pages of South Dakota newspapers, the chroniclers of history in the communities they serve. For decades, they have informed, celebrated and lamented the good and bad of the schools, the governments and the people in their coverage area.

And these are the enemy of the people? This is "fake news?"

Absolutely not.

Yet in one way or another all journalists are being tossed into the anti-media waters being churned by President Trump and others.

The slander of "fake news" has become a potent tool of abuse by President Trump. It is now that dirty war on the free press which must end. Today, South Dakota editorial boards and other newspapers around the country are collaborating with The Boston Globe to stand together in the common defense of journalism and the vital role it plays in government for and by the people.

This month at a rally in Pennsylvania, President Trump pointed at reporters and called them "horrible, horrendous people." During a speech at a VFW event in Missouri, the president said that what Americans are reading "is not really happening."

Even the VFW winced, saying it was "disappointed to hear some of our members boo the press. We rely on the media to help spread the VFW's message. ... We were happy to have them there."

Yet some people believe the president and, unfortunately, his ugly rhetoric is sifting downward, settling even on newspapers all over the country.

All over the country, people call newspapers "fake news" and they do this because they see it happening on TV. They do it as they try to create their own smokescreens in the face of news coverage they see as critical of themselves or their beliefs.

Do not fall for it.

Newspapers are the first to admit they are not perfect, but on all levels we are serious about what we see as our core roles: documenting the daily and weekly history of our towns and serving as watchdogs to protect the public's interest.

Newspapers are doing this in Mitchell, White Lake, Rapid City, Freeman and all over.

And this, readers, is not fake news.