Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Can I quote you on that?

Quotes about the practice of journalism tend to be tongue-in-cheek. More often than not, comments about the profession are critical, even when made by journalists themselves.

Cultural critic Matthew Arnold described journalism as 'literature in a hurry'.

Malcolm X warned us of the political effects of journalism: 'If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing'.

Helen Swaffer takes a swipe at the British press whose business interests seem to take priority over freedom of expression: 'Freedom of the press in Britain is freedom to print such of the proprietor's prejudices as the advertisers won't object to'.

As a music journalist myself (not rock music I hasten to add!), one of my favourite quotes is from the late Frank Zappa: 'Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read'.


Filed under:
quotations    music journalism    press freedom    spin    politics

2 comments:

Pete Wilby said...

Former Home Secretary, Charles Clarke uses an interesting phrase - 'spinners of truth' - when discussing the news media's influence on public opinion and the political agenda. The quote also has something of a sting in its tail:

'I have argued before, and will not repeat in detail today, my view that it is the media, whose direct access to the majority of the public which no politician can even contest, who have been for some decades now the principal "spinners" of truth as they have sought to be the public agenda-setters. It is their grip which politicians of all colours have sought to contest. I believe that this is even truer in the 7/24 media world where synthetic novelty and personality take on great importance to media planners.”

Speech at London School of Economics, 24 April, 2006

Philip Young said...

You might be interested in some of the quotes about journalism in fiction collected at Scoop!(http://publicsphere.typepad.com/scoop/)