Newspapers nationwide denouncing Trump's attacks on the press

Newspaper opinion sections nationwide have launched a coordinated response to President Donald Trump's attacks on the media.

The president has ridiculed his critics, calling them "fake news."

On Thursday, the press responded with editorial pieces reminding readers of the importance of the first amendment.

"Look at all the cameras out there,” Trump said during a 2015 campaign rally in Dallas. “Now, if you like the media, give them a big hand. If you don’t, give them a boo!"

Rhetoric like that has escalated to President Trump calling the media "the enemy of the people." In a coordinated campaign, 350 newspapers have now published editorials urging the president not to use that phrase.

The Dallas Morning News Editorial Board wrote "we the people hold our elected officials accountable... And we urge all Americans — regardless of creed, color or political affiliation — to stand up for their First Amendment rights and to recognize how a free press is fundamental to the… American experiment in democracy."

SMU Journalism Professor Tony Pederson believes the unified message is a positive one. 

"What is going on is extraordinary pressure against news media and against individual journalist in a way that we've not seen before,” the professor said. "I think there is an awareness among journalist and among the news media that what is happening, regardless of political perspective, is really pretty dangerous."

Skeptics, including major news sites like Politico, say the editorial campaign only reinforces the perception that news organizations have an anti-Trump bias.

"I understand the argument,” Pederson said. “But at the same time, I think it never hurts to reemphasize exactly what the First Amendment is about and why it's important."

The president himself tweeted in response that "the fake news media is the opposition party." A recent poll shows 51 percent of GOP respondents identify with his "enemy of the people" line. 

“Liberty is at stake,” Pederson said. “And when we talk about individual liberty, we really are talking about a freedom of the press that safe guards the individual liberty for 300 plus Americans."

One of the notable exceptions to the editorial campaign is the Wall Street Journal. They published an article that was critical of the initiative, suggesting the president has a right to free speech and that newspapers have been engaging in “collusion” with their coverage of Mr. Trump.