Around 350 newspapers in the United States, led by the Boston Globe, have published coordinated editorials condemning the attacks they're under from president Donald Trump and defending the freedom of the press. Nobody has been outraged be it, Trump won't take any action and there it will remain for the annals of the press, the day when, collectively, a large majority of US media outlets came out en masse for a cause as essential in any democratic country as the freedom of the press.
Clearly, nobody has thought of accusing them of a lack of plurality or independence. Plurality and independence are at stake on other battlefields, not in a coordinated editorial. I've searched in Spain for notes in protest from media outlets, from important thought leaders or from press associations. Nothing. Rather, praise everywhere. The most widespread assessment is that it was necessary. I can agree with that. A president like Trump degrading the press's role every other day (and the days in between) ends up cutting back press freedom.
But if you can defend press freedom in coordinated editorials, you can also defend against injustice, against cruelty, defend a country's freedom. Or is that too far because it affects the media's plurality and independence? When, in November 2009, the Catalan press published a joint editorial in defence of the new Statute of Autonomy and warning of the risks of the arbitrary and unjust act that the Constitutional Court was going to carry out, all kinds of accusations fell upon them, the great majority for their alleged lack of independence. It was obvious that the Madrid media's criticisms had another objective: to reduce the impact of an exceptional agreement in defence of Catalonia.
With the years, and especially recently, we've seen joint editorials, joint headlines, joint front pages and joint lies against the Catalan government, the Catalan Parliament and its pro-independence majorities. In fact, on a sad day like the 17th August which saw the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils and with the bodies still not buried, the largest campaign to discredit the Catalan police which any police force has suffered ever was started.
The US press's editorial and the joint editorial of the Catalan press could look their public and readers in the eye. The other, that of slander and lies, cannot.