Increasingly, the picture of our society as rendered in our media is illusionary and delusionary: disfigured, unreal, out of touch with reality, disconnected from the true context of our life. It is disfigured by celebrity, by celebrity worship, by gossip, by sensationalism, by denial of our societies.
—Carl Bernstein (1944–73) American Journalist, Writer
It is impossible to read the daily press without being diverted from reality. You are full of enthusiasm for the eternal verities — life is worth living, and then out of sinful curiosity you open a newspaper. You are disillusioned and wrecked.
—Lee Kuan Yew (1923–2015) Singaporean Statesman
If Thomas Edison invented electric light today, Dan Rather would report it on CBS News as, “Candle making industry threatened”.
—Newt Gingrich (b.1943) American Politician
It is a misfortune that necessity has induced men to accord greater license to this formidable engine, in order to obtain liberty, than can be borne with less important objects in view; for the press, like fire, is an excellent servant, but a terrible master.
—James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851) American Novelist
People write negatives things, cause they feel that’s what sells. Good news to them, doesn’t sell.
—Michael Jackson (1958–2009) American Singer-Songwriter
The window to the world can be covered by a newspaper.
—Stanislaw Jerzy Lec (1909–1966) Polish Aphorist, Poet
The job of the press is to encourage debate, not to supply the public with information.
—Christopher Lasch (1932–94) American Historian, Moralist, Social Critic
It seems to me curious, not to say obscene and thoroughly terrifying, that it could occur to an association of human beings drawn together through need and chance and for profit into a company, an organ of journalism, to pry intimately into the lives of an undefended and appallingly damaged group of human beings, an ignorant and helpless rural family, for the purpose of parading the nakedness, disadvantage and humiliation of these lives before another group of human beings, in the name of science, of “honest journalism.”
—James Agee (1909–55) American Author, Journalist, Poet, Screenwriter, Film Critic
There was a time when the reader of an unexciting newspaper would remark, ‘How dull is the world today!’ Nowadays he says, ‘What a dull newspaper!’
—Daniel J. Boorstin (1914–2004) American Historian, Academic, Attorney, Writer
A reporter is always concerned with tomorrow. There’s nothing tangible of yesterday. All I can say I’ve done is agitate the air ten or fifteen minutes and then boom — it’s gone.
—Edward R. Murrow (1908–65) American Journalist, Radio Personality