The venerable British newspaper, The Guardian, has sounded the call for backup. It wants to muster other leading newspapers to collaborate on investigating America's new president, the Great Orange Bloat, Donald J. Trump.
Openly targeting a president, imagine that.
The paper argues that it took a collaborative effort to break the Panama Papers story and nothing less has much chance of exposing the real Donald Trump.
Countless reporters are still shaken and stunned by how he singled out a CNN reporter, one of the most respected news outlets in the world, to attack and humiliate him during his first press conference since winning the elections. Worryingly, none of his fellow journalists in the room stood up for him at the time.
This wasn’t Trump’s first attack on the press, and it certainly won’t be his last. The first White House press briefing, held on Saturday, featured bullying, threats and unproven claims. That is why a new level of solidarity and cooperation is needed among the fourth estate.
American journalists should stop him from dividing their ranks – however hard their professional competition may be. They should do the opposite: unite, share and collaborate. Even if doing so would mean embracing something quite unfamiliar and new to American journalism.
The Panama Papers has showed that a formerly unthinkable project of collaboration can work. When we shared the data of the papers with a team of 400 reporters worldwide, we brought together a vast number of investigative reporters who typically compete which each other. The main reason why our newspaper, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, shared the story with competitors was simply that it was too big and too important to do alone.
Now, once again, we are faced with a story that is too big and too important to handle on our own: Donald Trump’s impact on the democracy of the United States of America.
The ultimate goal is nothing less than dredging up Trump's business ties and those of his cabinet to expose their conflicts of interest. The paper argues that, in keeping with the tradition of independent journalism and a free press, Trump is an entirely legitimate target.
He threatened his Democratic opponent with jail, he is making promises no one can fulfill, he is mixing family and government, he is mixing business and government, he is obstructing control and he is fighting the freedom of press.
This government has decided to go down a new and hostile path. Now, it is time for us to change path, too. That’s not only just fair – it is absolutely necessary.