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Pithy Sayings

Journalism


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Journalists used to question the reasons for war and expose abuse of power. Now, like toothless babies, they suckle on the sugary teat of misinformation and poop it into the diaper we call the six o'clock news.
[Kent Brockman, TV news anchor on The Simpsons]

It's so simple it sounds stupid at first .... We've got to tell people stuff they don't know.
[Tim McGuire, former editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, quoted in "The Reconstruction of American Journalism" by Leonard Downie Jr and Micheal Schudson, Columbia Journalism Review, October 19, 2009]

For people who don't need it in their business, the best publicity is no publicity. The biggest men I've ever known have stayed out of the newspapers as much as possible.
[From Ten North Frederick by John O'Hara, 1955]

[T]he important point is that the value of quality journalism lies in the polity, not the economy. The role of the fourth estate is to help produce good government. Quality journalism is the tool that it uses to do so. Generally, this is accomplished by monitoring the other estates in society—political, economic, and social.
[From "The Future of Journalism" by Mark Cooper, in Will the Last Reporter Please Turn Out the Lights edited by Robert W McChesney and Victor Pickard, 2011]

Reporting is not a spectator sport (no matter what they teach in college). You can't sit and wait for the information to present itself like a postman knocking at your door – not if you're interested in doing something more than recycling press releases for a living; not if you can begin to understand why the best stories are the ones which someone somewhere doesn't want you to know.
[From Hack Attack by Nick Davies, 2014]

Rupert Murdoch and his lieutenants have used their news outlets to shift the centre of power – the centre of thinking – far over to the right; and they have used their political muscle to press these ideas on governments who sought their support. ... They have left us with a world that demonstrably is a worse place to live, unless you happen to belong to the power elite.
[From Hack Attack by Nick Davies, 2014]


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