President Donald Trump and members of his administration apparently haven’t read the Constitution lately, if ever.

Maybe Mr. Trump doesn’t understand the self-evident truth of the First Amendment right that gave unabridged freedom to the press and the necessary protections it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy.

As Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote in a 1964 opinion: “The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people.”

But in Mr. Trump’s alternate universe with its alternative facts the president has the right to place his own personal limits on the press.

The rights of a free press cannot be restricted because a sitting president doesn’t like what the press says or does. The media has a fundamental right to report the news without fear or favor or government inference, something this administration is deliberately choosing to ignore.

In his first week in office, Mr. Trump made his intentions perfectly clear: his will not be an open and transparent administration.

Mr. Trump immediately signed executive orders banning employees at the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department from issuing press releases or posting anything on social media. And he didn’t stop there.

Trump’s directives should be seen for what they are: an attempt to crackdown on whistleblowers, news sources and the press in general.

The EPA, the agency charged with protecting human health and the environment, was ordered to remove information about global warming from its website. Mentions of a landmark international climate co-operation agreement between the United States and other countries in the United Nations to fight climate change has been entirely removed.

Similar gag orders were placed on employees at the departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services and the National Park Service.

Trump’s directives should be seen for what they are: an attempt to crackdown on whistleblowers, news sources and the press in general.

It was clear from day one Mr. Trump wants to control the flow of information to the public and bypass the press by using his own Twitter account to disseminate his version of news.

In his first press conference as White House press secretary, Sean Spicer kept the press waiting for more than an hour only to emerge and spend five minutes berating them for correctly publishing and broadcasting the size of the inauguration crowd. Spicer left in a huff, refusing to answer questions.

A rather inauspicious beginning for the man whose primary role is to field questions from the press. The press secretary cannot abdicate his responsibility as conduit between the president and the press simply because he’s been told to do so or doesn’t want to.

The incident must have left journalists longing for the days of President Obama, even though more leakers and whistleblowers were prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined and the Department of Justice under Mr. Obama subpoenaed and threatened to jail scores of journalists for failing to reveal their sources.

The “good ole” Obama days of open government transparency turned out to be anything but is now being replaced by an administration that has threatened to close the White House press room, blacklist reporters, sue media companies for perceived libelous actions and turn the public, which the media serves, against it.

When The NewsGuild-CWA created the “Right to Report” blog two years ago, the mission set out to raise strong and consistent objections to government policies and activities that curtail freedom of speech and access to public information. The blog was part of a national “Right to Report” campaign spearheaded by The NewsGuild-CWA to highlight an unprecedented rise in government abuse against members of the media.

The Guild is building a coalition of media workers and First Amendment activists to protect whistleblowers; secure shield laws for journalists; affirm the right to film and photograph events in public; stop the surveillance of journalists’ emails and phones; and uphold the rights of students, freelancers, bloggers and others who cover the news. Using campaigns of petitions, public letters, lobbying and other direct actions, the Guild, which represents 34,000 members in media companies in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and the coalition are a strong voice and advocate for journalists and journalism.

Some media companies and journalists are under attack from Mr. Trump and his administration. The Guild will not sit idly by and let any branch of government undermine the principles upon which we stand as a union.

Our union is not just a collective bargaining agent but a powerful lobby for its members, a majority of whom are journalists. The Guild has, and will continue to be, at the forefront of the movement for workers’ rights, and will protect its members from having to do their jobs in a hostile work environment, be it the newsroom or the halls of White House or Congress.

Jay Rosen, a professor of journalism at New York University, is among a growing number of voices who believe journalists should stop or curtail its coverage of the new administration.

Rosen singled out Trump’s campaign adviser and spokesperson, Kellyanne Conway, as someone within the administration who may benefit from a period of benign neglect.

“The logic is, this is a representative of the president,” said Rosen. “This is somebody who can speak for the Trump administration. But if we find that what Kellyanne Conway says is routinely or easily contradicted by Donald Trump, then that rationale disappears.

“Another reason to interview Kellyanne Conway is, our viewers want to understand how the Trump world thinks,” he added. “But if the end result of an interview is more confusion about what the Trump world thinks, then that rationale evaporates.”

While it may be tempting for the press to boycott Mr. Trump, the role of the media is to serve the public. Regardless of what Mr. Trump does, says, or thinks about the press, journalists cannot, and should not, abandon their roles as members of the Fourth Estate. That would be playing squarely into Mr. Trump’s hands in doing so.

It may not be easy to be a journalist covering the Trump administration, but it comes with the profession.

The NewsGuild-CWA strongly believes the free flow of information and the right of journalists to do their jobs must be protected and the Guild will continue to work diligently, intelligently, patiently, and persistently with its members, media companies, the community-at-large and advocacy groups to uphold the freedom of the press.