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News, news, news that is what we want. You can describe
things with the pen of Shakespeare himself, but you cannot beat
news in a newspaper.
Editor of the 'Daily Express' in the 1930s to the
1950s, and described by Hugh Cudlipp as
'the patron saint of urgency'.
What is news?
What lies between the ads.
The first rough draft of history.
The first draft of everything is shit.
What protrudes from the ordinary.
Anything that will make people talk.
Charles A. Dana
'New York Sun'
Anything that makes the reader say "Gee whiz!"
'San Francisco Examiner'
Things that people don't want to be known.
London 'Sunday Times'
What somebody somewhere wants to suppress.
All the rest is advertising.
When a dog bites a man that is not news, but when a man bites
a dog that is news.
Charles Anderson Dana
Famous line uttered by the owner-editor
of the 'New York Sun' and often wrongly
attributed to John Bogland and to Alfred
Harmsworth, Lord Northcliffe
News is what a chap who doesn't care much about anything wants
to read. And it's only news until he's read it. After that, it's
If the newspapers of a country are filled with good news, the
jails of that country will be filled with good people.
US politician, professor
The modern editor of a newspaper does not care for facts. The
editor wants novelty. The editor has no objection to facts, if
they are also novel. But he would prefer a novelty that is not
a fact to a fact that is not a novelty.
William Randolph Hearst
This is the biggest newspaper story sincethe crucifixion of
'Daily Mail' editor on the Dreyfuss Affair, defending
blanket coverage when his boss Lord Northcliffe objected.
If Thomas Edison invented electric light today, Dan Rather
would report it on CBS News as "candle making industry threatened."
Journalism largely consists of saying "Lord Jones Dead"
to people who never knew Lord Jones was alive.
The secret of a successful newspaper is to take one story each
day and bang the hell out of it. Give the public what it wants
to have and part of what it ought to have whether it wants it
Herbert Bayard Swope
Editor, 'New York World'
I wouldn't be here if there were no trouble. Trouble is news,
and gathering news is my job.
Good taste is, of course, an utterly dispensable part of any
Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a
bicycle accident and the collapse of civilisation.
George Bernard Shaw
News and reality
Have you noticed that life, real honest-to-goodness life, with
murders and catastophes and fabulous inheritances, happens almost
exclusively in the newspapers?
Journalism constructs momentarily arrested equilibriums and
gives disorder an implied order. That is already two steps from
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.
The process of reporting
To hear people talk about the facts you would think that they
lay about like pieces of gold ore in the Yukon waiting to be picked
up, all stories are written backwards they are supposed
to begin with the facts and develop from there, but in reality
they begin with a journalist's point of view, a conception, and
it is the point of view from which the facts are subsequently
Journalists belong in the gutter because that is where the
throw their guilty secrets.
You'd get an idea and draw the facts towards it.
Daily Express sports reporter explaining
in one pithy sentence the entire
philosophy of tabloid journalism.
News work is highly addictive. It is the cocaine of crafts.
William F Kerby
Executive editor, 'Wall Street Journal', in
'A Proud Profession: Memoirs of a Reporter,
Editor and Publisher'
Journalism is a profession whose business it is to explain
to others what it personally does not understand.
Since news can be defined as something that someone does not
want printed, the best stories are inevitably caught as a terrier
catches a rabbit down a dark hole. The nature of the process means
some important bits may get left behind.
'Tickle The Public: One Hundred
Years of the Popular Press'
Whenever you find hundreds and thousands of sane people trying
to get out of a place and a little bunch of madmen trying to get
in, you know the latter are reporters.
Writing for a newspaper is like running a revolutionary war.
You go to battle not when you are ready, but when action offers
I've been involved in demonstrations that were pretty languid
affairs until the cameras and reporters showed up, at which time
people abruptly began gesticulating wildly and spouting angry
rhetoric. This significant and somewhat humorous fact was never
reported in the news stories about the demonstrations.
John Allen Paulos
'A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper'
Somebody was using the pencil.
On why she missed a
'New Yorker' deadline
When the call comes in the middle of the night, a fireman only
has to put on his pants and extinguish the flames. A correspondent
must tell a million people who struck the match and why.
of Associated Press
All day long, Hollywood reporters lie in the sun, and when the sun goes down, they lie some more.
Never believe in mirrors or newspapers.
"The Hotel In Amsterdam'
America is a country of inventors, and the greatest of inventors
are the newspaper men.
Alexander Graham Bell
Many a good newspaper story has been ruined by oververification.
James Gordon Bennett
Once a newspaper touches a story, the facts are lost forever,
even to the protagonists.
Everything you read in newspapers is absolutely true, except
rare story of which you happen to have first-hand knowledge.
A quote is a personal possession and you have no right to change
The greatest service rendered by the Press and the magazines
is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.
Show me a man who claims he is objective and I'll show you
a man with illusions.
Henry R Luce
Proprieter of 'Time'
My business is to communicate facts. My instructions do not
allow me to make any comment upon the facts which I communicate.
My dispatches are sent to papers of all manner of poltics.
Lawrence A Godbright
AP's first Washington correspondent explaining,
in thre sentences, the origins of the wires' need
to be as free of bias as they could be.
There is no question but that McCarthy's exploitation of 'straight'
reporting did cause a gradual fundamental change in American journalism.
It probably took a performance as spectacular as his to move the
guardians of objectivity to admit that the meaning of an event
is as important as the facts of an event.
Edwin R Bayley
"Joe McCarthy and The Press"
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