Attorney General Jim Hood

Attorney General Jim Hood spoke on the importance of media and journalism in an interview with students from the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

“With this administration and all these ‘fake news’ claims, I’ve never seen that in my lifetime where that happened,” said Hood. “We went through the great recession and it really had a negative impact on media.”

During the Great Recession, roughly 8.7 million jobs were lost, sending the United States economy into a tailspin. Many media companies had to redefine how they produced news during that time in order to continually provide service.

“So many television stations were laying people off, you use to see people with a camera person and now they’re doing it all themselves,” said Hood. “But, I think they have stabilized it finally.”

For many employers, redefining past positions and was of doing business was a way to success.

“Through the digital footprint, they are able to still make a profit,” said Hood. “It is really fun to watch how the media is impacted, and how they are having to argue what the truth is and what the facts are.”

The phrase “fake news” has been around since the end of the 19th century. It appears in newspapers in 1890 and 1891.

However, the phrase received much clout after its use by President Trump. For many people. For others, like Hood, the thought of not being able to trust the media was outlandish.

“I never thought I’d see it,” said Hood. “Years ago, when I was in Turkey … some of the media people were in jail simply for telling the truth.”

In October, the President took to Twitter saying, “network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked.” This was roughly around the same time Trump began to accuse networks like NBC of providing ‘fake news’ to the public.

Throughout the job losses and conspiracy of what is truth and what isn’t, Attorney General Hood still believes that the profession of journalism is still one to be respected.

“I am encouraged by your chosen profession,” said Hood. “And I think it’s an exciting time to see something. I’m 55, and never thought I’d see what we are seeing in my lifetime.”