Quotes about Journalism and journalists

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If I'd written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people -- including me -- would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.

In the real world, nothing happens at the right place at the right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to correct that.
If the reporter has killed our imagination with his truth, he threatens our life with his lies.
Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read.
Gonzo journalism is a style of reporting based on William Faulkner's idea that the best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism -- and the best journalists have always known this. True gonzo reporting needs the talents of a master journalist, the eye of an artist/photographer and the heavy balls of an actor. Because the writer must be a participant in the scene, while he's writing it -- or at least taping it, or even sketching it. Or all three. Probably the closest analogy to the ideal would be a film director/producer who writes his own scripts, does his own camera work and somehow manages to film himself in action, as the protagonist or at least a main character.
Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be grasped at once.
I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.
Journalism consists largely in saying Lord James is dead to people who never knew Lord James was alive.
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. By carefully chronicling the current events of contemporary life, it shows us of what very little importance such events really are. By invariably discussing the unnecessary, it makes us understand what things are requisite for culture, and what are not.
The facts fairly and honestly presented; truth will take care of itself.
Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you're at it.
A petty reason perhaps why novelists more and more try to keep a distance from journalists is that novelists are trying to write the truth and journalists are trying to write fiction.
Journalism is popular, but it is popular mainly as fiction. Life is one world, and life seen in the newspapers another.
The lowest form of popular culture -- lack of information, misinformation, misinformation, and a contempt for the truth or the reality of most people's lives -- has overrun real journalism. Today, ordinary Americans are being stuffed with garbage.
It was a fatal day when the public discovered that the pen is mightier than the paving-stone, and can be made as offensive as the brickbat. They at once sought for the journalist, found him, developed him, and made him their industrious and well-paid servant. It is greatly to be regretted, for both their sakes.
Journalists belong in the gutter because that is where the ruling classes throw their guilty secrets.
A professional whose job it is to explain to others what it personally does not understand.
I get up in the morning with an idea for a three-volume novel and by nightfall it's a paragraph in my column.
If a person is not talented enough to be a novelist, not smart enough to be a lawyer, and his hands are too shaky to perform operations, he becomes a journalist.
Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.
Every journalist owes tribute to the evil one.
Journalist: a person without any ideas but with an ability to express them; a writer whose skill is improved by a deadline: the more time he has, the worse he writes.
I see journalists as the manual workers, the laborers of the word. Journalism can only be literature when it is passionate.
Evidently there are plenty of people in journalism who have neither got what they liked nor quite grown to like what they get. They write pieces they do not much enjoy writing, for papers they totally despise, and the sad process ends by ruining their style and disintegrating their personality, two developments which in a writer cannot be separate, since his personality and style must progress or deteriorate together, like a married couple in a country where death is the only permissible divorce.
People accuse journalism of being too personal; but to me it has always seemed far too impersonal. It is charged with tearing away the veils from private life; but it seems to me to be always dropping diaphanous but blinding veils between men and men. The Yellow Press is abused for exposing facts which are private; I wish the Yellow Press did anything so valuable. It is exactly the decisive individual touches that it never gives; and a proof of this is that after one has met a man a million times in the newspapers it is always a complete shock and reversal to meet him in real life.
Write the news as if your very life depended on it. It does!
I hate journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering jeering emptiness. They have all made what Dante calls the Great Refusal. The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth.
You cannot hope to bribe or twist (thank God!) the British journalist. But, seeing what the man will do unbribed, there's no occasion to.
If, for instance, they have heard something from the postman, they attribute it to a semi-official statement; if they have fallen into conversation with a stranger at a bar, they can conscientiously describe him as a source that has hitherto proved unimpeachable. It is only when the journalist is reporting a whim of his own, and one to which he attaches minor importance, that he defines it as the opinion of well-informed circles.
Journalists are like dogs, when ever anything moves they begin to bark.
In America journalism is apt to be regarded as an extension of history: in Britain, as an extension of conversation.
Europe has a press that stresses opinions; America a press, radio, and television that emphasize news.
We now demand the light artillery of the intellect; we need the curt, the condensed, the pointed, the readily diffused -- in place of the verbose, the detailed, the voluminous, the inaccessible. On the other hand, the lightness of the artillery should not degenerate into pop-gunnery -- by which term we may designate the character of the greater portion of the newspaper press -- their sole legitimate object being the discussion of ephemeral matters in an ephemeral manner.
The press is like the air, a chartered libertine.
I am a journalist and, under the modern journalist's code of Olympian objectivity (and total purity of motive), I am absolved of responsibility. We journalists don't have to step on roaches. All we have to do is turn on the kitchen light and watch the critters scurry.
Now he is a statesman, when what he really wants is to be what most reporters are, adult delinquents.
I think there ought to be a club in which preachers and journalists could come together and have the sentimentalism of the one matched with the cynicism of the other. That ought to bring them pretty close to the truth.

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