October 22, 2014

Joseph Pulitzer on the proper role of journalism

Cartoon of Joseph Pulitzer cartoon. More here.
Joseph Pulitzer was a Hungarian-American Jewish reporter turned newspaper owner, who owned the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the New York World. Joseph Pulitzer introduced the techniques of "new journalism" to the newspapers he acquired in the 1880s. His legacy lives on most prominently through the annual Pulitzer Prize and in an awareness of what the real role of the journalist is. He said that the role of journalism and the fourth estate is:
"An institution that should always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty."
Joseph Pulitzer, May 10, 1883, quoted on the Times plaque. My previous post on the role of journalism here.
 
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