The U.S. newspaper industry, known to be averse to acting as one, made an unprecedented move.

More than 400 newspapers are responding to The Boston Globe’s call to issue editorials challenging U.S. President Donald Trump, who voraciously disparages the news media as “the enemy of the people.”

The editorials on Aug. 16 uniformly denounced Trump for threatening democracy by labeling any media reports he does not like as “fake news.”

Editorials vividly described day-to-day efforts of dedicated journalists.

One mentioned a sports writer who follows local teams and is constantly on the road, in heavy snow or under a blazing summer sun, just so he can write good stories.

Another cited a writer covering local politics, who gets to City Hall at 7 p.m., files a story late at night, goes home in his battered Honda, and apologizes to his family for missing supper.

Editorial writers asked if such efforts make journalists “the enemy of the people?”

In U.S. communities where newspaper company offices have ceased to exist, anomalous developments have occurred.

In one city, senior municipal officials raised their salaries to double that of the sitting U.S. president at the time, and even got the assembly to approve the increases.

In another town where all election-related reporting had disappeared, voter turnout plummeted, and so did the number of candidates.

I was shocked to realize how much the absence of the press benefits political parties in power and incumbent office holders.

Finance Minister Taro Aso also habitually criticizes newspapers.

His recent comments include, “We shouldn’t help newspapers by subscribing to them,” and “People who do not read newspapers are all Liberal Democratic Party supporters.”

One U.S. newspaper noted in its Aug. 16 editorial that Trump is so obsessed with calling the media the enemy, he goes on his rant every other day.

I wonder how much time and energy he will continue to expend on composing and sending his spiteful posts, fired up by his anger with the press.

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 18

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Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that takes up a wide range of topics, including culture, arts and social trends and developments. Written by veteran Asahi Shimbun writers, the column provides useful perspectives on and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.