How should we talk about Trump?

How British newspapers covered the election of Donald Trump. Toby Melville/Reuters

Lately at The Conversation we’ve been discussing how best to cover Donald Trump given the significant global ramifications of his presidency.

There’s already been much written and said about Trump’s combative relationship with the media. His self-contradictory statements and disregard for facts have created ambiguity and raised questions about the tactical wisdom of taking him at his word. But Trump’s approaches to global politics, trade, immigration, climate change and a host of other issues demand rigorous journalistic attention.

For The Conversation, which features academics writing in their areas of expertise, the challenge is to distinguish opinions from evidence and insight. We all have views about Trump, and frequently they will be transparent in articles we publish. That’s not a bad thing, but publishing mere views is not our central aim. Nor, for that matter, is conforming to a narrow idea of impartiality that sorts commentary into “pro” and “con” and balances it accordingly. That’s why you won’t see one “pro” piece for every “con” piece we publish, or numerous reaction pieces to every action Trump takes. Instead, we set out to identify what really matters in Trump’s policies and statements and bring you relevant research, context, analysis and evidence from Australian academics.

To put it even more simply, our aim is to inform, not to persuade. Our firm editorial position is this: facts do matter and we cannot allow evidence and knowledge to be crowded out of public discourse. With guidance from readers we want to continue to bring you important expert insights. Please let us know what questions you’d like us to answer and what you think we should focus on. Please also send us your thoughts, what you’ve found valuable about our coverage and what you could have lived without.