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On the 13th March 2017 VCL published its monthly note. This included the publication of VCL's CEO, Martin Wood's monthly comment, this month's four resource stocks of interest, as well as an investment commentary by Wagner & Associates plus a topical cartoon which can be seen on the Short Note page.

"Perhaps the three most important people on the planet for the next four years are Dean Baquet, Gerard Baker and Martin Baron.

 

You have probably never heard of them, but they are the Editors of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

 

I say this not from a left or right wing perspective, it matters not if you think President Trump is the best thing since Attila the Hun or the worst thing since Attila the Hun.

 

The alternative media that has grown so rapidly in the last few years has undermined the more established news sources to such an extent that traditional news might be tempted to go down the same sensationalist alternative fact route just to compete. Alternative media on both sides of the political spectrum has been guilty of posting lies and half-truths which in today’s world of reposting and retweeting become accepted facts well before any one bothers to say ‘Is that true?’ The silo world of American politics means the Trump fans take him seriously but not literally and the haters take him literally but not seriously, both sides listen only to their sides alt news sources and the schism widens.

 

If Dean and Gerard and Martin can hold their collective nerves and insist that journalists do old fashion things like fact checking, then they will slowly destroy the alt news current strangle hold on ‘news’. This will require a willingness to lose circulation in the short term in order to protect their reputations and build reader trust. I am not sure how this will sit with the American fetish for quarterly results. When Trump fails, they need to be prepared to flail him, but also be prepared to accept that much of what he says is a reflection of the will of the people and in a democracy, that is sort of a central tenet!

Whatever you think of Trump it is clear that his Presidency will be a test for the US democratic institutions, they will of course pass, but Dean and Gerard and Martin have an important role to play in underwriting their success."

  Martin