March 16, 2017 07:08 PM

It’s not a wizard back there; it’s honest, hard-working journalists laboring in the interest of truth and accuracy.

When President Donald Trump referred to mainstream news media in the U.S. as “the enemy of the American people,” it was just the latest salvo he has directed at the Fourth Estate. And he couldn’t be more wrong.

So as the president is “russian” to judgment on news media, our friends at The Daily Advertiser came up with a keen idea: Meet the Press. It’s an opportunity for the public to meet the journalists who labor at Lafayette newspapers and broadcast media, to find out what goes into the enterprise of news gathering and reporting. What makes us tick. Why we do what we do.

It will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, at Feed & Seed on Grant Street adjacent to the Jefferson Street underpass Downtown.

“Most news organizations work on behalf of citizens, their communities and the truth – not a political philosophy or an audience preference,” says James Flachsenhaar, executive editor of The Daily Advertiser. “To hear some politicians and cable TV hosts tell it, the media is biased and untruthful.”

Typically the politicians and pundits telling it like that have something to hide.

“We have a strong and unwavering commitment to journalistic ethics and best practices. Our newsroom personnel and management team is reflective of the diversity and uniqueness that defines our local culture,” adds Andrew Shenkan, president and general manager of KATC-TV3. “We feel as a local broadcaster that it is incumbent upon us to be able to communicate this commitment to the public, so we are glad to be a part of the forum.”

The Meet the Press forum will include a panel of local journalists talking about their profession and taking questions from the audience. The Advertiser will provide food and drinks. It’s free and open to the public.