John Swinton on journalism

 

“There is no such thing, at this date in the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.

There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street looking for another job.

If I allowed my honest opinion to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. You know it and I know it. And what folly is this – toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance.

Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

John Swinton

New York Times – New York Press Club (1)

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