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quotations about newspapers

Newspapers are the schoolmasters of the common people.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Only a newspaper! Quick read, quick lost, Who sums the treasure that it carries hence? Torn, trampled under feet, who counts thy cost, Star-eyed intelligence?


That endless book, the newspaper, is our national glory.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.

BEN HECHT, quoted in Jewish Wit and Wisdom

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

G.K. CHESTERTON, All Things Considered

Newspapers are to the body politic what arteries are to the human body, their function being to carry blood and sustenance and repair to every part of the body.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

The way to prevent irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs through the channel of the public papers, and to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Colonel Edward Carrington, Jan. 16, 1787

A good newspaper is never nearly good enough but a lousy newspaper is a joy forever.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "That Old Picayune-Moon," Harper's, Sep. 1990

The advertisements in a newspaper are more full of knowledge in respect to what is going on in a state or community than the editorial columns are.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

If one has not read the newspapers for some months and then reads them all together, one sees, as one never saw before, how much time is wasted with this kind of literature.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

The newspaper is in all its literalness the bible of democracy, the book out of which a people determines its conduct.

WALTER LIPPMANN, attributed, Los Angeles Times, Oct. 7, 2006

Newspapers widen the sphere of our sympathies. They make their readers enter into the joys and sorrows of thousands of whom they would else know nothing, and for whom they would otherwise care nothing.

CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought

We need a daily paper edited and composed according to woman's own thoughts, and not as woman thinks a man wants her to think and write.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, remarks to the Woman's Auxiliary Congress of the Public Press Congress, May 23, 1893

One of the objects of a newspaper is to understand popular feeling and to give expression to it; another is to arouse among the people certain desirable sentiments; and the third is fearlessly to expose popular defects.


The noiseless din that we have long known in dreams, booms at us in waking hours from newspaper headlines.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia

I worked for newspapers. I worked for newspapers at a time when I was not competent to do so. I reported inaccurately. I failed to get all the facts. I misspelled names. I garbled figures. I wasted copy paper. I pretended to know things I did not know. I pretended to understand things beyond my understanding. I oversimplified. I was superior to things I was inferior to. I misinterpreted things that took place before me. I over- and underinterpreted what took place before me. I suppressed news the management wanted suppressed. I invented news the management wanted invented. I faked stories. I failed to discover the truth. I colored the truth with fancy. I had no respect for the truth. I failed to heed the adage, you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. I put lies in the paper. I put private jokes in the paper. I wrote headlines containing double entendres. I wrote stories while drunk. I abused copy boys. I curried favor with advertisers. I accepted gifts from interested parties. I was servile with superiors. I was harsh with people who called on the telephone seeking information. I gloated over police photographs of sex crimes. I touched type when the makeups weren’t looking. I took copy pencils home. I voted with management in Guild elections.


When woman has a newspaper which fear and favor cannot touch, then it will be that she can freely write her own thoughts.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, remarks to the Woman's Auxiliary Congress of the Public Press Congress, May 23, 1893

If you aren't careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.

MALCOLM X, speech at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, Dec. 13, 1964

Like the newspapers used to say, if the truth isn't big enough, you print the legend.

NEIL GAIMAN, American Gods

I like newspapers. Maybe the iPad is very modern and everything, and I'm not against it, but I like the physical contact. And the physical contact of metal and glass is not as sensuous as paper.

KARL LAGERFELD, "Media People: Q&A With Karl Lagerfeld", Women's Wear Daily, Sep. 12, 2014

A newspaper is not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, it is also a collective organiser.

VLADIMIR LENIN, "The Plan For an All-Russia Political Newspaper", What Is To Be Done?

Newspapers always excite curiosity. No one ever lays one down without a feeling of disappointment.

CHARLES LAMB, "On Books and Reading", The Last Essays of Elia

We expect some new disaster with each newspaper we read.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech at Bloomington, May 29, 1856

Some newspapers are fit only to line the bottom of bird cages.

SPIRO AGNEW, The New York Times Book Review, 1970

It is necessary, if one would read aright, that he should read at least two newspapers, representing both sides of important subjects.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit


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