Editor’s Note: This statement is in concert with more than 300 other publications who, led by the Boston Globe, are posting public statements in regards to comments from Donald J. Trump, whom has referred to journalists as “Enemies of the People.” This ceaseless, unending assault on a free press are damaging, and have placed the lives of many colleagues, friends, and allies in very real danger.

Contrary to Mr. Trump’s comments today, we are not affiliated with any other organization; we are 100% independent. We are not part of a cabal, nor are we, as he stated, “in COLLUSION with other papers.” To publish this statement was a decision made entirely by our editor-in-chief, as the head of an independent publication.

My fellow anime fans, good evening.

Normally, we try to avoid diving too deeply into political issues at the Herald because, well, we’re an online anime magazine. We’re here to bring you updates on the anime industry, peppered with commentary, reviews, and all other fun stuff. As a result, we’re often fairly insulated from several dicier political issues that run through the world at large.

But that does not mean that we are blind to everything. Since taking office, Mr. Trump has repeatedly and openly attacked journalists and members of the press, labeling those who do not express a ceaseless loyalty to his policies and opinions as “Enemies of the People.” As a result, we have seen a growing hostility in the greater world.

Trust in a free press has eroded to alarmingly low levels. Threats to journalists have become increasingly open and virulent, and five reporters from the Capital Gazette lost their lives in a shooting at the paper’s offices.

Even in our subculture, we’ve seen this general dissolution in trust. We’ve seen attacks on Anime Herald, as well as publications like Anime News Network, Anime Feminist, and Otaku USA, become ever more virulent. We’ve seen journalists threatened, belittled, and attacked for something as inconsequential as the choice of a single word in a headline.

This needs to stop.

These attacks on a free press, this destruction of our freedom to operate, cannot continue if we wish to continue as a free society.

Now, more than ever, we stand united with journalists of all stripes, to condemn Mr. Trump’s statements, and urge those around us to recognize that we are not enemies of the people. We are friends, we are neighbors, and we are family. We’re part of the communities we live in, and we are working tirelessly, day in and out, to deliver facts in a world where “fake news” has become an increasingly and depressingly common phrase.

The rhetoric, as it stands, is both careless and dangerous. Repeated dismissals of the free press have led us down a dangerous, now deadly path, which will have even more dire consequences if allowed to continue.

We are not fake news. We are not enemies of the people. We, like you, are the people.

As I have said on countless occasions, both on the Herald and on social media, we are here for you. Over the past eight years, we have worked tirelessly to keep readers informed. We’ve eschewed sleep, rest, and even common sense to bring you the best efforts that we possibly can every day.

Right now, none of us at the Herald takes a paycheck – myself included. We are working solely on the passion and love of what we do. It’s our passion, our drive, to bring you the latest news from Japan and America every single day.

But, as I’ve said countless times in the past, without you, there is no Anime Herald. There is no Anime News Network, no Fandom Post, and no Otaku Journalist. A free press, be it deep in the political weeds, or just reporting on the upcoming simulcasts, is vital in a functioning democratic society.

I’ll gladly admit that we all make mistakes – we’re human, after all. But the thought that we are misleading anybody tears us apart inside. We’re generally not here to lie, to aggrandize, or to push an agenda. We aggressively work to maintain accurate, clear facts and take every single step to update you when we are in the wrong.

And it’s because of this, that we stand united today as journalists, as people, and as Americans. We’re here for you, and we will continue to work to earn your trust.

Thank you, and good day.

“In the absence of a free press, there is no democracy.” – Tawakkol Karman