An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Journalism is literature in a hurry.


Matthew Arnold (1822-1888, British poet, critic)


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 (1864-1945, British socialite)


The lowest form of popular culture -- lack of information, 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 (1944-, American journalist, writer)


A journalist is a person who has mistaken their calling.


Otto Von Bismarck (1815-1898, Russian statesman, 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)


I find I journalize too tediously. Let me try to abbreviate.


James Boswell (1740-1795, British writer, journalist)


Write the news as if your very life depended on it. It does!


Heywood Broun (1888-1939, American journalist, novelist)


Journalism could be described as turning one's enemies into money.


Craig Brown


The press is like the air, a chartered libertine.


William Pitt Chatham (1708 -1778, British statesman)


Journalism consists largely in saying "Lord James is dead" to people who never knew Lord James was alive.


Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


Journalism is popular, but it is popular mainly as fiction. Life is one world, and life seen in the newspapers another.


Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


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 (1874-1936, British author)


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 (1904-1981, British author, journalist)


Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be grasped at once.


Cyril Connolly (1903-1974, British critic)


He types his labored column -- weary drudge! Senile fudge and solemn: spare, editor, to condemn these dry leaves of his autumn.


Robertson Davies (1913-1995, Canadian novelist, journalist)


I see journalists as the manual workers, the laborers of the word. Journalism can only be literature when it is passionate.


Marguerite Duras (1914-1996, French author, filmmaker)


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 (1914-1996, French author, filmmaker)


Journalism is organized gossip.


Edward Eggleston (American writer, historian)


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


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


Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you're at it.


Horace Greeley (1811-1872, American newspaper editor)


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 (1904-1991, British novelist)


If you can't get a job as a pianist in a brothel you become a royal reporter.


Max Hastings


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 (1898-1961, American writer)


Journalism is the entertainment business.


Frank Herbert (1920-1986, American writer)


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 (1932, Polish report and foreign correspondent)


If the reporter has killed our imagination with his truth, he threatens our life with his lies.


Karl Kraus (1874-1936, Austrian satirist)


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 (1874-1936, Austrian satirist)


Journalists write because they have nothing to say, and have something to say because they write.


Karl Kraus (1874-1936, Austrian satirist)


Every journalist owes tribute to the evil one.


Jean De La Fontaine (1621-1695, French poet)


The man must have a rare recipe for melancholy, who can be dull in Fleet Street.


Charles Lamb (1775-1834, British essayist, critic)


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 (1935-, American essayist, editor)


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 (1742-1799, German physicist, satirist)


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 (1742-1799, German physicist, satirist)


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


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 (1923-, American author)


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 (1934-, American author)


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 (1934-, American author)


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 (1878-1937, American humorist, journalist)


The real news is bad news.


Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980, Canadian communications theorist)


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 theologian, historian)


Now he is a statesman, when what he really wants is to be what most reporters are, adult delinquents.


Peggy Noonan (1950-, American author, presidential speechwriter)


A professional whose job it is to explain to others what it personally does not understand.


Lord Northcliffe


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 (1947-, American journalist)


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 (1809-1845, American poet, critic, short-story writer)


Journalists belong in the gutter because that is where the ruling classes throw their guilty secrets.


Gerald Priestland


Europe has a press that stresses opinions; America a press, radio, and television that emphasize news.


James Reston (1909-1995, Dutch-born American journalist)


In America journalism is apt to be regarded as an extension of history: in Britain, as an extension of conversation.


Anthony Sampson


Journalists are like dogs, when ever anything moves they begin to bark.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.


Tom Stoppard (1937-, Czech playwright)


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 (1939-, American journalist)


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 (1939-, American journalist)


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 (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


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 (1903-1966, British novelist)


The facts fairly and honestly presented; truth will take care of itself.


William Allen White (1868-1944, American editor, writer)


Bad manners make a journalist.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


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 (1856-1900, British author, wit)


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 (1885-1940, British poet)


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 (1865-1939, Irish poet, playwright.)


Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read.


Frank Zappa (1940-, American rock musician)


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