Journalism Quotes II

by mkleit

quotes taken from:

Journalism is a noble calling. The working journalist is to report, write, and explain in accordance with the highest standards of the profession.
–World Journalism Institute

And I say to you, whether you do environmental reporting or some other kind of journalism, and whether you practice journalism here in the U.S. or in some other place, please keep doing it and doing it well. Despite everything, journalism remains a noble calling.
— Jim Risser, director emeritus of the Knight Fellowships.


I have long thought that his [Rupert Murdoch’s] social philosophy was contained in his cartoon show, The Simpsons: all politicians and public officials are crooks, and the masses are a vast lumpen proletariat of deluded and exploitable blowhards.

Conrad Black, once again a free man, Oct. 2010

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

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

… the British media [are] as untroubled by logical inconsistency as they are by a shortage of facts, lack of knowledge, or deficiencies in spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

…The British press… [claimed that Tony] Blair was simply Bush’s poodle — a favorite phrase, bewilderingly popular, although it made no sense — and that he was ignoring the will of the British people. Considering the hacks had spent Blair’s first six years in office condemning him for relying on focus groups and opinion polls for his policies — in other words, paying attention to nothing but the will of the people, or at least their whims — that seemed a little rich to me, but as I said, logical consistency has never figured highly in the British media’s scale of values.
–Larry King, an American journalist in London, May, 2007

A good newspaper is never nearly good enough but a lousy newspaper is a joy forever. [sometimes misquoted as “bad newspaper”]
— Garrison Keillor
That Old ‘Picayune-Moon Harper’s September 1990

For years now, Martin [Amis] has had a contentious relationship with British journalists, whom he likens to mullahs. “They whip up hysteria,” he explained. “Journalists are more powerful now than they’ve ever been, and we all know what power does. Anyone who disses the media is really asking for it. But it is the case that the journalists are what they are – world famous for vulgarity, alcoholism, spite.”
-Charles McGrath, Sunday New York Times Magazine, April 22, 2007

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

Every word I wrote was ephemeral, as evanescent as baby’s breath, and had the shelf life of fish.
-Paul E. Schindler Jr. (me) May 19, 2006, describing his lifetime journalism output in a letter to A.R. Gurney Jr.

If you maintain a consistent political position long enough, you’ll eventually be accused of treason.
-Mort Sahl, American standup comedian, from Mort Sahl at the Hungry I (not really a journalism quote, but a hard to find quote I wanted to preserve)

One problem I have with reporters is that to a reporter following me around, my untimely death wouldn’t be a tragedy, but a professional opportunity.
Alternatively, at a dinner with President Clinton, Keillor is reported to have said the President had to
“sit and eat fish with a group of people who would regard your downfall as a professional opportunity.”
-Garrison Keillor, NPR (from memory by a correspondent)

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

Anonymous sources are to journalism what silicon enhancements are to the feminine figure; they look impressive to the gullible, but something doesn’t feel right.
–Larry King, an American journalist in London, August, 2005

Nobody beats a bunch of journalists for inflating their rather mundane straightforward chores with a lot more melodrama and self-importance than the job should be asked to contain.
–Larry King, an American journalist in London, August, 2005

… Don [Hewitt, 60 Minutes exec producer] told me, “You have set broadcast journalism back 20 years.” Naturally, I was both proud and elated although too modest to say so, but broadcast journalism recovered with alacrity, my contract wasn’t renewed, and the incident was forgotten.
–Nicholas Von Hoffman
Wall Street Journal, p. D10, March 12, 2003

Those of us forced to read the London papers sometimes speculate about which is greater: the average British hack’s sloth, mendacity, ignorance, obsequiousness, capacity for drink, or aversion to paying for that drink. Smart money tends to split between the latter two.
–Larry King, an American journalist in London, April, 2002

Diminished circumstances had no effect on his sense of what was honorable: after The Spectator sent him a check for a piece it had accepted but was unable to run for a lack of space, he refused to write for the magazine again.
–Louis Menand, in a review of The Warden Of English, a biography of Henry Fowler. Menand also notes that “uptight people do not make ideal biographical subjects”
The New Yorker November 26, 2001


Freedom to Speak, Respectfully.

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