Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quotes: Journal. Journalism.

Dorothy Parker tried to keep a journal but could never find it.
Journal 61 Dorothy Parker: I tried to keep one [a notebook] but I never could remember where I put the damn thing. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

Hawthorne and his wife kept a dual journal during the early years of their marriage.
Journal 205 During the early years of their marriage, Hawthorne and Sophia kept a journal, alternating their entries, commenting on each other’s commentaries.... Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times.

Forcing people to keep journals is heartless and malignant punishment.
Journal 34 If you wish to inflict a heartless and malignant punishment upon a young person, pledge him to keep a journal a year. Twain, Innocents Abroad.

I keep a record of my life, not on my actions, but on my thoughts.
Journal 439 I cannot keep a record of my life by my actions; Fortune places them too low [but] I keep it by my thoughts. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

People who use power are important but equally important are those who question power.
Journalism 926 JFK: “The men who create power…make an indispensable contribution to the nation’s greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable… for they determine whether we use power or power uses us.” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

The hindsight of Time and Newsweek has more effect on readers than daily newspaper stories.
Journalism 354 ...he [Kennedy] read Time and Newsweek faithfully and felt their condensed hindsight often influenced their readers more than daily newspaper stories. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK’s belief about the responsibilities of the press.
Journalism 357 It is true that he [Kennedy] believed the press had responsibilities as well as rights--including the responsibility to get the facts straight, to consider the national interest and to save their bias for the editorial columns.... Sorenson, Kennedy

Some stories in newspapers are essentially repeated over and over again.
Journalism 131 [A comment on journalism]: If we have forgotten to mention the date, they [the readers] have only to wait till next summer, and take the account of the first [balloon] ascent, and it will answer the purpose equally well. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

Newspapers are always quoting sources who cannot be named.
Journalism 49 No practice in Washington is more beloved than that of attributing statements to sources who cannot be named. Newman, Strictly Speaking.

We have to be careful that government support of the press does not become government control.
Journalism 334 ...government support [of the press] meant government control. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

The newspaper’s function is to startle.
Journalism 123 James Gordon Bennett, editor of the New York Herald: The newspaper’s function is not to instruct but to startle. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

In Lincoln’s time the unrestricted freedom of speech spawned incendiary comments that could inflame the mind of a fool.
Journalism 868 [Wilkes Booth] saw and heard hundreds of men of the educated and privileged classes indulging in an almost unrestricted freedom of speech…on the head of this one man Lincoln had been heaped a thousand infamies any one of which could easily inflame the mind of a vain and cunning fool. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

The press bore responsibility for Lincoln’s assassination because of its unbridled malignant spirit.
Journalism 869 The New York Herald…said directly that newspaper editors shared in the guilt of leading an assassin toward his bloody work…as clear as day that the real origin of this dreadful act is to be found in the fiendish and malignant spirit developed and fostered by the rebel press, North and South. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

The hurtful newspaper criticism that developed the mood that led to Lincoln's assassination.
Journalism 869 Harper’s Weekly: Directly and indirectly, openly and cunningly, the passions of men were set on fire by ‘the assertion that Mr. Lincoln was responsible for the war, that he had opened all the yawning graves and tumbled the victims in…is it surprising that somebody should have believed all this, that somebody should have said, if there is a tyranny it cannot be very criminal to slay the tyrant? Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Everyday journalism reduces experience to time-worn words and phrases.
Journalism 18 [Everyday journalism] is, in its customary aspects, no more than the reduction of vivid and recent impressions to banal sequences of time-worn words and phrases. Mencken, Minority Report.

The formula for holiday “roundups” in the media.
Journalism 208 Joel Sayre: “roundups” at holidays—Over a billion holiday makers left the city yesterday to spend Labor Day in the country and at the beaches…nineteen deaths from drowning, ten…killed in automobile accidents, sixty-five…injured from sitting on empty pickle bottles, eleven fell down wells, while scores were attacked by mayonnaise rash. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The Times prints what is known and does not hide the extent of the public disaster.
Journalism 913 Its [The Times’] existence honors the people who dare to print all they know, dare to know all the facts, and do not wish to be flattered by hiding the extent of the public disaster. Emerson, English Traits.

Every running story had to have new “leads” for each new edition.
Journalism 106 New York headquarters demanded new “leads” for every edition on a running story, and if there was no really fresh news when the demand came, new leads would be invented, by a turn of a phrase, by a bolder interpretation of somebody’s statement, by a reckless guess as to what would happen next in the affair. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

The journalist must always be calm no matter how much emotion is involved in a story.
Journalism 111 America seemed to be in an emotional state, but we were warned over and over again to speak calmly, dispassionately; we must not display a tenth of the emotion that a broadcaster does when describing a prize fight. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

Broadcast journalism adds tone and inflection to the printed word, thus conveying extended meaning.
Journalism 146 News reporting by broadcast has its severe limitations, but sometimes it can convey meaning merely by tone and inflection in a way the printed word cannot. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

Most “scoops” happened by chance.
Journalism 151 It has been my general experience as a journalist that 80% of so-called “scoops” result from pure chance. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

The novelist can help the reader identify with characters in the story, but the journalist cannot.
Journalism vs. fiction 27 John Hersey: Again, here is a special strength that novelists always have at hand and that journalists rarely have: it is possible in fiction to make a reader identify himself with the human beings in the story—to make a reader feel that he himself took part in the great or despicable events of the story. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Journalism witnesses history; fiction enables readers to live it.
Journalism vs. fiction 27 John Hersey: Journalism allows its readers to witness history; fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Reporting is literal and without comment and cannot convey depth the way fiction can.
Journalism vs. literature 291 Capote: …in reporting one is occupied with literalness and surfaces, with implication without comment—one can’t achieve immediate depths the way one may in fiction. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

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