ben franklin      Journalism Quotes

"If you would not be forgotten
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worthy reading,
Or do things worth the writing. "
-Benjamin Franklin

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin

"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent."
-Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789

"Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society."
-John Adams

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. "
-Frederick Douglass

"I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence."
-Frederick Douglass

"Once we start worrying too often or too deeply about what certain individuals and what certain groups think about us, then we might start selling our souls for the sake of expediency. I suggest if that day ever comes, then the press has had it."
-- Otis Chandler, 1969

"Nothing's riding on this, except the First Amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press and maybe the future of the country. Not that any of that matters, but if you guys f--k up again, I'm gonna get mad."
-Ben Bradlee to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the motion picture "All The President's Men."

"This instrument can teach, it can illuminate, and yes it can inspire.  But it can do so only to the extenet that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is nothing but wires and lights in a box.
-Edward R. Murrow to the RTNDA Convention,  October 15, 1958

"We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we remember that we are not descended from fearful [people], [people] who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were, for the moment, unpopular."
-Edward R. Murrow from "See It Now," March 7, 1954

"Our history will be what we make it. And if there are any historians about fifty or a  hundred years from now, and there should be preserved the kinescopes for one week of all three networks, they will there find recorded in black and white, or color, evidence of decadence, escapism and insulation from the realities of the world in which we live.... If this state of affairs continues, we may alter an advertising slogan to read: LOOK NOW, PAY LATER. For surely we shall  pay for using this most powerful instrument of communication to insulate the citizenry from the hard and demanding realities which must be faced if we are to survive."
Edward R. Murrow at the RTNDA Convention, October 15, 1958

"Anyone who isn't confused really doesn't understand the situation."
-Edward R. Murrow

"It is well to remember that freedom through the press is the thing that comes first. Most of us probably feel we couldn't be free without newspapers, and that is the real reason we want the newspapers to be free."
-- Edward R. Murrow

"One of the basic troubles with radio and television news is that both instruments have grown up as an incompatible combination of show business, advertising and news. Each of the three is a rather bizarre and demanding profession. And when you get all three under one roof, the dust never settles."
-- Edward R. Murrow

"We cannot make good news out of bad practice."
-Edward R. Murrow

"Life may not be exactly pleasant, but it is at least not dull. Heave yourself into Hell today, and you may miss, tomorrow or next day, another Scopes trial, or another War to End War, or perchance a rich and buxom widow with all her first husband's clothes. There are always more Hardings hatching. I advocate hanging on as long as possible."
-H.L. Mencken

"One seldom discovers a true believer that is worth knowing."
-H.L. Mencken

Truth - "Something somehow discreditable to someone."
-H.L. Mencken

Democracy -  "The theory that the common people know what's good for them, and deserve to get it good and hard."
-H.L. Mencken

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
-Hunter S. Thompson

"Journalism, largely consists of saying `Lord Jones is Dead' to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.''
-G.K. Chesterton

"It is a newspaper's duty to print the news and raise hell."
-William Storey, 1861

"The guiding ideological principles of most American newsrooms are entropy, chaos, procrastination and lunch."
- Renee Loth of the Boston Globe

"The only authors whom I acknowledge as American are the journalists. They, indeed, are not great writers, but they speak the language of their countrymen, and make themselves heard by them."
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

If you stayed away from the campaign for any period of time and then came on again, the first thing that struck you was the shocking physical deterioration of the press corps. During the summer, the reporters had looked fairly healthy. Now their skin was pasty and greenish, they had ugly dark pouches under their glazed eyes, and their bodies had become bloated with the regimen of nonstop drinking and five or six starchy airplane meals every day. Toward the end, they began to suffer from a fiendish combination of fatigue and anxiety. They had arrived at the last two weeks, when the public finally wanted to read about the campaign -- front-page play every day! -- and they were so tired that it nearly killed them to pound out a decent piece.
-- Timothy Crouse, in ``The Boys on the Bus,'' 1973

"Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read."
-- Frank Zappa (1940-1993)

"Today was the end of the auto show in Minneapolis, so let's observe four minutes of silence."
-Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, after being told he had four minutes to fill.

"Television [is] a high-impact medium. It does some things no other force can do-transmitting  electronic pictures through the air.  Still, as an explored, comprehensive medium, it is not a substitute for print."
-Walter Cronkite

"There is no such thing as a little  freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free."
-Walter Cronkite

"Everything is being compressed into tiny tablets. You take a little pill of news every day-23 minutes-and that's supposed to be enough."
-Walter Cronkite

"And that's the way it is."
-Walter Cronkite

"Good night and good luck."
-Edward R. Murrow

"Good night, good luck and good news tomorrow."
-Bill Burns, KDKA-TV

"From the desert to the sea to all of Southern California..."
-News intro used by Jerry Dunphy, L.A. Anchorman.

News - "The first rough draft of history."
- Ben Bradlee

News - "Literature in a hurry."
-- Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)

"Groucho Marx' health took a turn for the worse today. He died."
-Pittsburgh Anchor - name withheld to protect the guilty.

"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child."
-Dan Quayle

"I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix."
-Dan Quayle

"Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts."
- Dan Quayle

"Lookit, I've done it their way this far and now it's my turn. I'm my own handler. Any questions? Ask me ... There's not going to be any more handler stories because I'm the handler ... I'm Doctor Spin."
- Dan Quayle

"Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things."
-Dan Quayle

"The news is the one thing that the networks can point to with pride. Everything else they do is crap - and they know it."
- Fred Friendly

"Journalism allows its readers to witness history; fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it."
-John Hersey

"News is history shot on the wing. The huntsmen from the Fourth Estate seek to bag only the peacock or the eagle of the swifting day."
-Gene Fowler

 "A long life in journalism convinced me many presidents ago that there should be a large air space between a journalist and the head of a state."
-Walter Lippmann

"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 it were."
-David Brinkley

"Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage."
- Maya Angelou

"The press is the enemy."
-Richard M. Nixon

"I have a different vision of leadership. A leadership is someone who brings people together. "
-George W. Bush

"Drug therapies are replacing a lot of medicine as we used to know it."
-George W. Bush

" Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods. "
-George W. Bush

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

" False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil."

" A job on a newspaper is a special thing. Every day you take something that you found out about, and you put it down and in a matter of hours it becomes a product. Not just a product like a can or something. It is a personal product that people, a lot of people, take the time to sit down and read."
-Jimmy Breslin

"With God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
-Arthur Carlson on "WKRP in Cincinnati"