Journalism Quotes

Best selected journalism quotes by some famous people of their times. These quotes about journalism will motivate and inspire you and will make you much wiser about the subject.


Journalism is organized gossip. Edward Eggleston
Journalism is the entertainment business. Frank Herbert
Journalists belong in the gutter because that is where the ruling classes throw their guilty secrets. Gerald Priestland
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. P. J. O'Rourke
In America journalism is apt to be regarded as an extension of history: in Britain, as an extension of conversation. Anthony Sampson
Personal columnists are jackals and no jackal has been known to live on grass once he had learned about meat -- no matter who killed the meat for him. Ernest Hemingway
Write the news as if your very life depended on it. It does! Heywood Broun
Journalism without a moral position is impossible. Every journalist is a moralist. It's absolutely unavoidable. A journalist is someone who looks at the world and the way it works, someone who takes a close look at things every day and reports what she sees, someone who represents the world, the event, for others. She cannot do her work without judging what she sees. Marguerite Duras
Europe has a press that stresses opinions; America a press, radio, and television that emphasize news. James Reston
If you can't get a job as a pianist in a brothel you become a royal reporter. Max Hastings
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. Oscar Wilde
Journalists are like dogs, when ever anything moves they begin to bark. Arthur Schopenhauer
Now he is a statesman, when what he really wants is to be what most reporters are, adult delinquents. Peggy Noonan
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
Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you're at it. Horace Greeley
If the reporter has killed our imagination with his truth, he threatens our life with his lies. Karl Kraus
I find I journalize too tediously. Let me try to abbreviate. James Boswell
Opinionated writing is always the most difficult... simply because it involves retaining in the cold morning-after crystal of the printed word the burning flow of molten feeling. Gavin Lyall
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. Edgar Allan Poe
The journalists have constructed for themselves a little wooden chapel, which they also call the Temple of Fame, in which they put up and take down portraits all day long and make such a hammering you can't hear yourself speak. Georg C. Lichtenberg
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
More than illness or death, the American journalist fears standing alone against the whim of his owners or the prejudices of his audience. Deprive William Safire of the insignia of the New York Times, and he would have a hard time selling his truths to a weekly broadsheet in suburban Duluth. Lewis H. Lapham
The dominant and most deep-dyed trait of the journalist is his timorousness. Where the novelist fearlessly plunges into the water of self-exposure, the journalist stands trembling on the shore in his beach robe. The journalist confines himself to the clean, gentlemanly work of exposing the grieves and shames of others. Janet Malcolm
In journalism it is simpler to sound off than it is to find out. It is more elegant to pontificate than it is to sweat. Harold Evans
Our job is like a baker's work -- his rolls are tasty as long as they're fresh; after two days they're stale; after a week, they're covered with mould and fit only to be thrown out. Ryszard Kapuscinski
The real news is bad news. Marshall Mcluhan
The press is like the air, a chartered libertine. William Pitt
I get up in the morning with an idea for a three-volume novel and by nightfall it's a paragraph in my column. Don Marquis
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. Gilbert K. Chesterton
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. Oscar Wilde
The facts fairly and honestly presented; truth will take care of itself. William Allen White
Journalism over here is not only an obsession but a drawback that cannot be overrated. Politicians are frightened of the press, and in the same way as bull-fighting has a brutalizing effect upon Spain (of which she is unconscious), headlines of murder, rape, and rubbish, excite and demoralize the American public. Margot Asquith
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. Norman Mailer
A journalist is a person who has mistaken their calling. Otto Von Bismarck
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. Karl Kraus
Bad manners make a journalist. Oscar Wilde
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. Claud Cockburn
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. Carl Bernstein
The man must have a rare recipe for melancholy, who can be dull in Fleet Street. Charles Lamb
Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read. Frank Zappa
What a squalid and irresponsible little profession it is. Nothing prepares you for how bad Fleet Street really is until it craps on you from a great height. Ken Livingstone
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. Mark Twain
Journalism is literature in a hurry. Matthew Arnold
He types his labored column -- weary drudge! Senile fudge and solemn: spare, editor, to condemn these dry leaves of his autumn. Robertson Davies
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. Humbert Wolfe
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. Hunter S. Thompson
Every journalist owes tribute to the evil one. Jean De La Fontaine
Journalism could be described as turning one's enemies into money. Craig Brown
Journalism is popular, but it is popular mainly as fiction. Life is one world, and life seen in the newspapers another. Gilbert K. Chesterton
Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one. A. J. Liebling
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. William Butler Yeats
It was when ''reporters'' became ''journalists'' and when ''objectivity'' gave way to ''searching for truth,'' that an aura of distrust and fear arose around the New Journalist. Georgie Anne Geyer
A professional whose job it is to explain to others what it personally does not understand. Lord Northcliffe
Journalism consists largely in saying ''Lord James is dead'' to people who never knew Lord James was alive. Gilbert K. Chesterton
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. Hunter S. Thompson
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
Every journalist who is not too stupid or too 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
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
I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon. Tom Stoppard
I see journalists as the manual workers, the laborers of the word. Journalism can only be literature when it is passionate. Marguerite Duras
Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be grasped at once. Cyril Connolly

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