Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quotes for old or new journalists

A few back-to-school words from the late Joseph Pulitzer:

"Every issue of the paper presents an opportunity and a duty to say something courageous and true; to rise above the mediocre and conventional; to say something that will command the respect of the intelligent, the educated, the independent part of the community; to rise above fear of partisanship and fear of popular prejudice.
"I would rather have one article a day of this sort; and these ten or twenty lines might readily represent a whole day's hard work in the way of concentrated, intense thinking and revision, polish of style, weighing of words."

... and the late Finley Peter Dunne's "Mr. Dooley":

"Th' newspaper does ivrything for us.
It runs th' polis foorce an' th' banks,
commands th' milishy,
controls th' legislachure,
baptizes th' young,
marries th' foolish,
comforts th' afflicted,
afflicts th' comfortable,
buries th' dead,
an' roasts thim afterward."

... and the fictional editor Perry White (in "Superman, the Movie"):

"Lois, Clark Kent may seem like just a mild-mannered reporter, but listen -- not only does he know how to treat his editor-in-chief with the proper respect, not only does he have a snappy, punchy prose style, but he is in my 40 years in this business the fastest typist I've ever seen."

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