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.”
—Evelyn Waugh (1903–66) British Novelist, Essayist, Biographer
We live under a government of men and morning newspapers.
—Wendell Phillips (1811–84) American Abolitionist, Lawyer, Orator
A journalist is a person who has mistaken their calling.
—Otto von Bismarck (1815–98) German Chancellor, Prime Minister
We need not be theologians to see that we have shifted responsibility for making the world interesting from God to the newspaperman.
—Daniel J. Boorstin (1914–2004) American Historian, Academic, Attorney, Writer
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.
—Graham Greene (1904–91) British Novelist, Playwright, Short Story Writer
Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you’re at it.
—Horace Greeley (1811–72) American Elected Rep, Politician, Reformer, Editor
The lowest form of popular culture—lack of information, misinformation, disinformation, 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.
—Carl Bernstein (1944–73) American Journalist, Writer
The journalist holds up an umbrella, protecting society from the fiery hail of conscience.
—George William Russell (1867–1935) Irish Author, Poet, Editor, Critic, Painter
I find I journalize too tediously. Let me try to abbreviate.
—James Boswell (1740–95) Scottish Biographer, Diarist
I’d get into a room and disappear into the woodwork. Now the rooms are so crowded with reporters getting behind-the-scenes stories that nobody can get behind-the-scenes stories.
—Theodore H. White (1915–86) American Journalist, Historian, Novelist
He types his labored column — weary drudge! Senile fudge and solemn: spare, editor, to condemn these dry leaves of his autumn.
—Robertson Davies (1913–95) Canadian Novelist, Playwright, Essayist
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.
—Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) American Christian Theologian