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communication of selected information on current events
The press is owned by an oligarchic corporate elite which makes sure that any critique of them is never broadcast over the airwaves. ~ Chris Hedges

News is the communication of selected information on current events which is presented by print, broadcast, Internet, or word of mouth to a third party or mass audience.



  • Whatever a patron desires to get published is advertising; whatever he wants to keep out of the paper is news.
    • Anonymous The Fourth Estate: A Newspaper for the Makers of Newspapers, (November 30, 1918) page 18, Column 4, Publisher Ernest F, Birmingham, Fourth Estate Publishing Company, New York.
  • The ancients held that a man must never let himself be overcome by events unless those events taught something essentially new. They were more intent than were any men before or since on preserving the freedom of the mind.
    • Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: 1988), pp. 283-284.
  • If on the web you search only for frivolous or sensational news (which are often false and slanderous), you will bring grist to the mill of those who maintain that the era of the web is by no means the “era of knowledge”.
    • Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Writings by Fausto Cercignani, 2014, quote 60.
  • Whin annything was wrote about a man 'twas put this way: "We undhershtand on good authority that M-l-chi H---y, Esquire, is on thrile before Judge G---n on an accusation iv l--c-ny. But we don't think it's true." … Th' newspaper does ivrything f'r us. It runs th' polis foorce an' th' banks, commands th' milishy, controls th' ligislachure, baptizes th' young, marries th' foolish, comforts th' afflicted, afflicts th' comfortable, buries th' dead an' roasts thim aftherward. They ain't annything it don't turn its hand to fr'm explainin' th' docthrine iv thransubstantiation to composin' saleratus biskit.
  • Where village statesmen talk'd with looks profound,
    And news much older than their ale went round.
  • It is part of the business of a newspaper to get news and to print it; it is part of the business of a politician to prevent certain news being printed. For this reason the politician often takes a newspaper into his confidence for the mere purpose of preventing the publication of the news he deems objectionable to his interests.
    • Alfred C. Harmsworth, Journalism as a Profession (1903), Arthur Lawrence, writing as guest author in Chapter X: The Making of a Newspaper.
      • What might be a derivation of this quote appears here:
        • I think that the most accurate definition of news was the one with which the editor of a big-circulation newspaper used to placate the anxious directors when, on the morning after a big “story,” the furious protests, threatening letters and writs for libel were pouring in. “News,” he used to say, trying to get them to look at the thing philosophically, “news is what somebody does not want you to print. All the rest is advertising.
          • LACUNA, a pen name, in the magazine The Motor, the article "You’ll Be Interested To Know", issue from 14 December 1937.
  • There is good news tonight.
    • Gabriel Heatter, There's Good News Tonight (1960), p. 122. Heatter began his evening radio newscasts with these words, trying to give hope when the news was grim during World War II.
  • Stay a little, and news will find you.
  • The basis of our government 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 (16 January 1787) Lipscomb & Bergh ed. 6:57.
  • To your request of my opinion of the manner in which a newspaper should be conducted, so as to be most useful, I should answer, "by restraining it to true facts & sound principles only." Yet I fear such a paper would find few subscribers. It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more completely deprive the nation of its benefits, than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood. Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. . . . I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.
  • The media first turned the trial into a freak-show by emphasizing Jackson's peculiarities rather than his humanity, and stoked the ratings with constant, trivializing coverage while other, far more important stories went under-reported or completely ignored in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Washington, D.C. The press might respond by saying, We gave the people what they wanted. My response would be, My job is to give them what they want. When he steps into a recording studio, it's Michael Jackson's job to give them what they want. Your job is to give the people what they need.
  • Knoll's Law of Media Accuracy: Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true--except for the rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge.
  • — good news stops to take breath on the road ; bad news never requires it.
  • That which Heraclitus avoided, however, is still the same at that which we shun today: the noise and democratic chatter of the Ephesians, their politics, their latest news of the “Empire,” … their market business of “today”—for we philosophers need to be spared one thing above all: everything to do with “today.” We reverence what is still, cold, noble, distant, past, and in general everything in the face of which the soul does not have to defend itself and wrap itself up.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals § 3.8, W. Kaufmann, trans., Basic Writings of Nietzsche (1992), p. 546.
  • Well, all I know is what I read in the papers.
    • Will Rogers, Nationally syndicated column number 42, Blames All Ills on Earthquake (1923). This became a remark Rogers often used in his public appearances.
  • Though it be honest, it is never good
    To bring bad news; give to a gracious message
    An host of tongues; but, let ill tidings tell
    Themselves when they be felt.
  • Here comes Monsieur le Beau
    With his mouth full of news,
    Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their young.
    Then shall we be news-crammed.
  • If it be summer news,
    Smile to 't before: if winterly, thou need'st
    But keep that countenance still.
  • Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
    Hath but a losing office; and his tongue
    Sounds ever after as a sullen bell,
    Remember'd tolling a departed friend.
  • And tidings do I bring, and lucky joys,
    And golden times, and happy news of price
    I pr'ythee now, deliver them like a man of the world.
  • My heart hath one poor string to stay it by,
    Which holds but till thy news be uttered.
  • I well believe it, to unwilling ears;None love the messenger who brings bad news.
    • Sophocles, Antigone, lines 276–77.—The Dramas of Sophocles, trans. Sir George Young, p. 16 (1888). A sentinel is speaking to Creon.
  • What I chiefly admired, and thought altogether unaccountable, was the strong disposition I observed in them towards news and politics, perpetually enquiring into public affairs, giving their judgments in matters of state, and passionately disputing every inch of a party opinion. ... I rather take this quality to spring from a very common infirmity of human nature, inclining us to be more curious and conceited in matters where we have least concern, and for which we are least adapted either by study or nature.
  • The last half of the 20th century will seem like a wild party for rich kids, compared to what's coming now. The party's over, folks. … "Winston Churchill said "The first casualty of War is always Truth." Churchill also said "In wartime, the Truth is so precious that it should always be surrounded by a bodyguard of Lies."
    That wisdom will not be much comfort to babies born last week. The first news they get in this world will be News subjected to Military Censorship. That is a given in wartime, along with massive campaigns of deliberately-planted "Dis-information." That is routine behavior in Wartime — for all countries and all combatants — and it makes life difficult for people who value real news. Count on it.
  • Not without a slight shudder at the danger, I often perceive how near I had come to admitting into my mind the details of some trivial affair,—the news of the street; and I am astonished to observe how willing men are to lumber their minds with such rubbish,—to permit idle rumors and incidents of the most insignificant kind to intrude on ground which should be sacred to thought. Shall the mind be a public arena, where the affairs of the street and the gossip of the tea-table chiefly are discussed? Or shall it be a quarter of heaven itself,—an hypæthral temple, consecrated to the service of the gods? I find it so difficult to dispose of the few facts which to me are significant, that I hesitate to burden my attention with those which are insignificant, which only a divine mind could illustrate. Such is, for the most part, the news in newspapers and conversation. It is important to preserve the mind’s chastity in this respect. Think of admitting the details of a single case of the criminal court into our thoughts, to stalk profanely through their very sanctum sanctorum for an hour, ay, for many hours! to make a very bar-room of the mind’s inmost apartment, as if for so long the dust of the street had occupied us,—the very street itself, with all its travel, its bustle, and filth, had passed through our thoughts’ shrine! Would it not be an intellectual and moral suicide?
  • The media today are controlled by the big corporations. It's all about ratings and money. Believe it or not, I think the downfall of our press today was the show 60 Minutes. Up until it came along, news was expected to lose money, in order to bring the people fair reporting and the truth. But when 60 Minutes became the top-rated program on television, the light went on. The corporate honchos said, "Wait a minute, you mean if we entertain with the news, we can make money?" It was the realization that, if packaged the correct way, the news could make you big bucks. No longer was it a matter of scooping somebody else on a story, but whether 20/20's ratings this week were better than Dateline's. I'm not knocking 60 Minutes. It was tremendously well done and hugely successful, but in the long run it could end up being a detriment to society.
    • Jesse Ventura, Don't Start the Revolution Without Me! (2008), chapter 3, p. 48.
  • My major criticism of today's media is, they're no longer reporting the news, they're creating it. When that happens, you're in deep trouble.
    • Jesse Ventura, Don't Start the Revolution Without Me! (2008), chapter 3, p. 48.
  • The thing about most of the media is that they want to reduce everybody to the lowest common denominator. They don't want people to have any heroes. I've got nothing against criticism of political figures, but that's different from a personal attack. It's easier to do sensationalism and character assassination than focus on the real issues. And they're obsessed, it seems, with portraying the ugliest side of humanity—the dishonesty, hypocrisy, ego battles, and fights.
    How dare Fox, CNN, and MSNBC call themselves news stations? They're entertainment stations.
    • Jesse Ventura, Don't Start the Revolution Without Me! (2008), chapter 3, p. 51.
  • [A] group of scientists came out and said unequivocally that global warming is being caused by human beings. Did you hear that mentioned on the "news"? No, that day Britney Spears shaved her head. People would rather hear about this than what's happening in Iraq? Or are we simply being dumbeddown to that point? The people of the United States should demand more than this!
    • Jesse Ventura, Don't Start the Revolution Without Me! (2008), chapter 3, p. 51.
  • The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make the criminal look like he's a the victim and make the victim look like he's the criminal. This is the press, an irresponsible press. It will make the criminal look like he's the victim and make the victim look like he's the criminal. 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.
    If you aren't careful, because I've seen some of you caught in that bag, you run away hating yourself and loving the man — while you're catching hell from the man. You let the man maneuver you into thinking that it's wrong to fight him when he's fighting you. He's fighting you in the morning, fighting you in the noon, fighting you at night and fighting you all in between, and you still think it's wrong to fight him back. Why? The press. The newspapers make you look wrong.
    • Malcolm X speech at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem (13 December 1964), later published in Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements (1965), edited by George Breitman, p. 93

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 553-54.
  • By evil report and good report
    • II Corinthians, VI. 8.
  • Ill news is wing'd with fate, and flies apace.
  • It is good news, worthy of all acceptation, and yet not too good to be true.
  • What, what, what,
    What's the news from Swat?
    Sad news,
    Bad news,
    Comes by the cable; led
    Through the Indian Ocean's bed,
    Through the Persian Gulf, the Red
    Sea, and the Med-
    Iterranean—he's dead;
    The Akhoond is dead.
    • George Thomas Lanigan, The Akhoond of Swat; written after seeing the item in the London papers (Jan. 22, 1878), "The Akhoond of Swat is dead".
  • Who, or why, or which, or what,
    Is the Akhond of Swat?
  • Ill news, madam,
    Are swallow-winged, but what's good
    Walks on crutches.
  • News, news, news, my gossiping friends,
    I have wonderful news to tell,
    A lady by me her compliments sends;
    And this is the news from Hell!
  • As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
    • Proverbs, XXV. 25.

See alsoEdit

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