Great Quotes About Newspapers

Over the course of the ODNP project, I have been collecting historical quotes about newspapers and the newspaper business. I thought this would be a good time to share some of my favorites with readers of the blog… Enjoy!

illustration of pair of newsboys selling papers on street

"Newsboys Of The Street," from Portland Sunday Oregonian, May 22, 1904, p.11

“This is what really happened, reported by a free press to a free people.  It is the raw material of history; it is the story of our own times.”
Henry Steel Commager

“Newspapers cannot be defined by the second word—paper.  They’ve got to be defined by the first word—news.”
Arthur Sulzberg, Jr.

“A good newspaper is a nation talking to itself.”
Arthur Miller

“The newspaper is a greater treasure to the people than uncounted millions of gold.”
Henry Ward Beecher

“Were it left to me to decide if we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
Thomas Jefferson

photo of 19th century type-setter at his case of type

Newspaper typesetter from the era of hand composition. Photo from Morning Oregonian, December 4, 1900, p.15

“Most of us probably feel we couldn’t be free without newspapers, and that is the real reason we want newspapers to be free.”
Edward R. Murrow

“People don’t actually read newspapers.  They step into them every morning like a hot bath.”
Marshall McLuhan

“Every time a newspaper dies, even a bad one, the country moves a little closer to authoritarianism…”
Richard Kluger

“I’d love to rise from the grave every ten years or so and go buy a few newspapers.”
Luis Bunuel

“All I know is what I read in the papers.”
Will Rogers

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11 comments on “Great Quotes About Newspapers
  1. Warren Bernson Eller says:

    The RICHARD KLUGER quote is frightening as we see newspapers dropping like melting snowflakes. –Warren Bernson Eller

  2. Can you remember a quote about newspapers (or perhaps news) as the second line of history?

  3. Edward Dass D says:

    Newspaper is like my morning coffee

  4. Diana Edward says:

    Newspaper is like a window to the world

  5. Beky Davis says:

    When you read a newspaper you evaluate and make your own decisions about the events surrounding us. There is no underlining tone or an opinionated attitude in the newspaper. When you aren’t interested in a topic, you don’t have to wait until someone is done belaboring the issue. You just turn the page and move on.
    I love my newspaper.

  6. Rodney Quinn says:

    Hello, Reports in Australian newspapers today (31 May) are carrying the story of the assassination of Arkady Babchenko — yet overnight radio bulletins advised the assassination was a hoax to flush out the would-be assassins. Tomorrow’s newspapers will obviously retract the story. This reminded me of a quote that I read many years agao to the effect that one should not believe any story in a newspaper unless it appears for two days running. Any thoughts who might have said this? It is most appropriate to this story! Regards

  7. Shilky says:

    News is like a sun ,which arises every day, sometimes very hot,sometimes average

  8. Mary Wadland says:

    “It’s black and white and READ all over!”

  9. sakshi says:

    Newspaper is the magical stuff of history.

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