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Quotations about
Media and Journalism

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Journalism largely consists in saying "Lord Jones is dead" to people who never knew Lord Jones was alive. ~G.K. Chesterton

We can't quite decide if the world is growing worse, or if the reporters are just working harder. ~The Houghton Line, November 1965

On many a road the only vehicle you may meet, of a Sunday, is the newsman's cart, hurrying from hamlet to hamlet with his huge bundles of gaudily covered Sunday newspapers—undertaking to purvey all that the human mind need know or the human soul crave, to that day's date. ~Frederic Jesup Stimson, Jethro Bacon, Of Sandwich, 1902

News is history shot on the wing. ~Gene Fowler, Skyline

Exaggeration of every kind is as essential to journalism as it is to the dramatic art; for the object of journalism is to make events go as far as possible. Thus it is that all journalists are, in the very nature of their calling, alarmists; and this is their way of giving interest to what they write. Herein they are like little dogs; if anything stirs, they immediately set up a shrill bark. ~Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860), "On Some Forms of Literature," The Art of Literature: A Series of Essays, translated from German by T. Bailey Saunders, 1891

It was while making newspaper deliveries, trying to miss the bushes and hit the porch, that I first learned the importance of accuracy in journalism. ~Charles Osgood

The newspaper is the second-hand in the clock of history; and it is not only made of baser metal than those which point to the minute and the hour, but it seldom goes right. ~Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860), "On Some Forms of Literature," The Art of Literature: A Series of Essays, translated from German by T. Bailey Saunders, 1891

Newspapers: dead trees with information smeared on them. ~Horizon, "Electronic Frontier"

I always turn to the sports section first. The sports section records people's accomplishments; the front page nothing but man's failures. ~Earl Warren, quoted in Sports Illustrated, 1968 July 22nd

If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: "President Can't Swim." ~Lyndon B. Johnson

Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock. ~Ben Hecht

The flood of print has turned reading into a process of gulping rather than savoring. ~Warren Chappell

They kill good trees to put out bad newspapers. ~James G. Watt, quoted in Newsweek, 1982 March 8th

Journalists aren't supposed to praise things. It's a violation of work rules almost as serious as buying drinks with our own money or absolving the CIA of something. ~P.J. O'Rourke

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers. ~Thomas Jefferson

In the spider-web of facts, many a truth is strangled. ~Paul Eldridge

If you saw a man drowning and you could either save him or photograph the event... what kind of film would you use? ~Author Unknown

There ain't any news in being good. You might write the doings of all the convents of the world on the back of a postage stamp, and have room to spare. ~Finley Peter Dunne

Journalism is the ability to meet the challenge of filling space. ~Rebecca West

I am unable to understand how a man of honor could take a newspaper in his hands without a shudder of disgust. ~Charles Baudelaire

A newspaper consists of just the same number of words, whether there be any news in it or not. ~Henry Fielding

Journalism is literature in a hurry. ~Matthew Arnold

Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all. ~Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero-Worship

No news is good news. No journalists is even better. ~Nicolas Bentley

Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper. ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to Nathaniel Macon

The one function that TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if there were. ~David Brinkley

Harmony seldom makes a headline. ~Silas Bent

A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself. ~Arthur Miller

We live under a government of men and morning newspapers. ~Wendell Phillips

The evening papers print what they do and get away with it because by afternoon the human mind is ruined anyhow. ~Christopher Morley, Kitty Foyle

Once a newspaper touches a story, the facts are lost forever, even to the protagonists. ~Norman Mailer

Journalists cover words and delude themselves into thinking they have committed journalism. ~Hedrick Smith

Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilisation. ~George Bernard Shaw

You can crush a man with journalism. ~William Randolph Hearst

With all the mass media concentrated in a few hands, the ancient faith in the competition of ideas in the free market seems like a hollow echo of a much simpler day. ~Kingman Brewster, Jr.

Editor: A person employed on a newspaper whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed. ~Elbert Hubbard

In the real world, the right thing never happens in the right place and the right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to make it appear that it has. ~Mark Twain

I fear three newspapers more than a hundred thousand bayonets. ~Napoleon

You don't realize how little accuracy there is in network TV reporting until they cover a story in your hometown. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com

If it's called the USA Today, why is all the news from yesterday? BAM. Busted! ~Stephen Colbert

Get your facts first, and then you can distort 'em as much as you please. ~Mark Twain

People everywhere confuse
What they read in newspapers with news.
~A.J. Liebling, The New Yorker, 1956 April 7th

I've always said there's a place for the press but they haven't dug it yet. ~Tommy Docherty, 1980

Every newspaper editor owes tribute to the devil. ~Jean de la Fontaine

If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. ~Malcolm X

All newspaper writers have heard that the stuff they compose today has an excellent chance of being used to wrap tomorrow's mackerel. ~Ira Berkow

'A dog bites a man'—that's a story; 'A man bites a dog'—that's a good story... ~Jesse Lynch Williams, "The Old Reporter" (spoken by the character Billy Woods) [saying may have existed before 1899, see quoteinvestigator.com/2013/11/22/dog-bites]

The secret of successful journalism is to make your readers so angry they will write half your paper for you. ~C.E.M. Joad

Journalism is organized gossip. ~Edward Egglestone

A newspaper, as I'm sure you know, is a collection of supposedly true stories written down by writers who either saw them happen or talked to people who did. These writers are called journalists, and like telephone operators, butchers, ballerinas, and people who clean up after horses, journalists can sometimes make mistakes. ~Lemony Snicket

Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be grasped at once. ~Cyril Connolly

The faculty of attention has utterly vanished from the Anglo-Saxon mind, extinguished at its source by the big bayadère of journalism, of the newspaper and the picture magazine which keeps screaming, "Look at me." Illustrations, loud simplifications... bill poster advertising — only these stand a chance. ~Henry James

Television has a real problem. They have no page two. Consequently every big story gets the same play and comes across to the viewer as a really big, scary one. ~Art Buchwald, 1969

If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Mark Twain or Thomas Jefferson

I do not mean to be the slightest bit critical of TV newspeople, who do a superb job, considering that they operate under severe time constraints and have the intellectual depth of hamsters. But TV news can only present the "bare bones" of a story; it takes a newspaper, with its capability to present vast amounts of information, to render the story truly boring. ~Dave Barry

Upon comparing BBC News with CNN: Melodrama is something foreigners do. ~Jslayeruk, "Random points," post after July 2005 London subway bombings

The bigger the information media, the less courage and freedom they allow. Bigness means weakness. ~Eric Sevareid, The Press and the People, 1959

Journalism — a profession whose business it is to explain to others what it personally does not understand. ~Lord Northcliffe

The American mass media have achieved what American political might could not: World domination. ~Akbar S. Ahmed

All of us learn to write by the second grade, then most of us go on to other things. ~Bobby Knight, on reporters

The one function TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if there were. ~David Brinkley

That ephemeral sheet,... the newspaper, is the natural enemy of the book, as the whore is of the decent woman. ~Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt, Journal, July 1858

You should always believe all you read in the newspapers, as this makes them more interesting. ~Rose Maccaulay

Everything you read in newspapers is absolutely true, except for that rare story of which you happen to have first-hand knowledge. ~Erwin Knoll

Being a reporter is as much a diagnosis as a job description. ~Anna Quindlen

The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything. Except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands. ~Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, 1891

If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast. ~William Tecumseh Sherman

Journalists do not live by words alone, although sometimes they have to eat them. ~Adlai E. Stevenson

Freedom of the press in Britain is freedom to print such of the proprietor's prejudices as the advertiser's won't object to. ~Helen Swaffer

I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers. ~Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

I don't follow current events past the Industrial Revolution. ~Bones, "The Parts in the Sum of the Whole" (season 5, episode 16, original airdate 2010 April 8th), writing credits: Hanson, Reichs, Lin, Lopata, and Peterson, spoken by the character Temperance Brennan

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Last modified 2015 Oct 27 Tue 13:10 PDT

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