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elements of the mass media that focus on delivering news
Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Quotes about the press.


  • An important thing to remember about the press is there is no ideological bias.
  • My friend Reg Murphy, now publisher of the Baltimore Sun, has a sign behind his desk advising those who would take on the press that it is never wise to do battle with anyone who buys ink by the barrel.
    • Griffin B. Bell, Ronald J. Ostrow, Taking Care of The Law (1982), p. 205.

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)Edit

  • Well, I am reading more and enjoying it less—[laughter]—and so on, but I have not complained nor do I plan to make any general complaints. I read and talk to myself about it, but I don't plan to issue any general statement on the press. I think that they are doing their task, as a critical branch, the fourth estate. And I am attempting to do mine. And we are going to live together for a period, and then go our separate ways. [Laughter].
    • John F. Kennedy, when asked to comment on the press in general, news conference, May 9, 1962. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, p. 376 (1963).
  • To the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.
    • James Madison, "Report on the Resolutions", in Gaillard Hunt, ed., The Writings of James Madison vol. 6 (1906), p. 389. This report of the resolutions of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1799 was submitted by a committee headed by Madison and is widely known as the Virginia Report of 1799.
  • Government has an obligation not to inhibit the collection and dissemination of news…. I'm convinced that if reporters should ever lose the right to protect the confidentiality of their sources then serious investigative reporting will simply dry up. The kind of resourceful, probing journalism that first exposed most of the serious scandals, corruption and injustice in our nation's history would simply disappear…. And let me tell you, reading about one's failings in the daily papers is one of the privileges of high office in this free country of ours.
    • Nelson A. Rockefeller, governor of New York, speech to the Anti-Defamation League, Syracuse, New York, November 29, 1972, as reported by The New York Times, November 30, 1972, p. 1, 86.
  • Whenever the press quits abusing me I know I'm in the wrong pew. I don't mind it because when they throw bricks at me—I'm a pretty good shot myself and I usually throw 'em back at 'em.
    • Harry S. Truman, speech at a dinner in his honor, Washington, D.C., February 22, 1958.—Text as recorded by The New York Times, February 23, 1958, p. 46.
  • In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs for ever and ever.
    • Oscar Wilde, "The Soul of Man Under Socialism", The Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. G. F. Maine, p. 1033 (1954).

See alsoEdit


  • Klopsch, Louis, 1852-1910 (1896). Many Thoughts of Many Minds.