Journalism, Such As It Is

Sunday, April 20, 2008 – Journalism, Such As It Is  


People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news. ~ A. J. Liebling


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


Journalism is organized gossip. ~ Edward Eggleston


Exaggeration of every kind is as essential to journalism as it is to dramatic art, for the object of journalism is to make events go as far as possible, ~ Arthur Schopenhauer


Too strong a media emphasis on death and violence can lead to despair. ~ Dali Lama


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


Dealing with the media is more difficult that bathing a leper. ~ Mother Teresa


The TV business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. ~ Hunter S. Thompson


In the hierarchy of predatory animals, journalists are the carrion eaters. ~ Jacques Welter


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


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


The idea that media is there to educate us, or to inform us, is ridiculous because that’s about tenth or eleventh on their list. ~ Abbie Hoffman


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


The First Law of Journalism: to confirm existing prejudice, rather than contradict it. ~ Alexander Cockburn


I don’t so much mind that newspapers are dying – it’s watching them commit suicide that pisses me off. ~ Molly Ivins


Every journalist who is not too stupid or full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people’s vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse. ~ Janet Malcolm, The Journalist and the Murderer, 1990


Every good journalist is aware that his trade may one day go the way of phrenology – and, what’s more, the population will hardly protest the extinction. ~ David Remnick, The New Yorker, January 29, 1996


People may expect too much of journalism. Not only do they expect it to be entertaining, they expect it to be true. ~ Lewis H. Lapham


There is much to be said in favor of modern journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community. ~ Oscar Wilde


If the newspapers of a country are filled with good news, the jails of that country will be filled with good people. ~ Daniel Moynihan


We journalists make it a point to know very little about an extremely wide variety of topics; this is how we stay objective. ~ Dave Barry


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


Remember, son, many a good story has been ruined by over-verification. ~ James Gordon Bennett


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


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


Ask how to live? Write, write, write, anything; The world’s a fine believing world, write news. ~ Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, Wit without Money (act II)


There is room in this great and growing city for a journal that is not only cheap but bright, not only bright but large, not only large but truly democratic–dedicated to the cause of the people rather than that of the purse potentates–devoted more to the news of the New than the Old World–that will expose all fraud and sham, fight all public evils and abuses–that will sever and battle for the people with earnest sincerity. ~ Joseph Pulitzer, May 1883, New York World


Great is journalism. Is not every able editor a ruler of the world, being the persuader of it? ~ Thomas Carlyle, French Revolution (pt. II, bk. 1, ch. 4)


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


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


News is something someone wants suppressed. Everything else is just advertising. ~ Lord Northcliff


It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper. ~ Jerry Seinfeld