Celebrating a Century of Scholastic Journalism Education

JEA Centennial

CELEBRATING A CENTURY OF SCHOLASTIC JOURNALISM EDUCATION
Celebrating a Century of Scholastic Journalism Education

JEA Centennial

Celebrating a Century of Scholastic Journalism Education

JEA Centennial

Our 100 lists of 100: Quotes By or About Journalists

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Image by u_zscsfn7pja / Pixabay

Fun for bellringers, these quotes will help provide motivation for your students 100 times over.

1. It’s a journalist’s job to be a witness to history. We’re not there to worry about ourselves. We’re there to try and get as near as we can, in an imperfect world, to the truth and get the truth out. Robert Fisk
2. My only advice is, follow your dream and do whatever you like to do the most. I chose journalism because I wanted to be in the places where history was being made. Jorge Ramos
3. Journalism without a moral position is impossible. Every journalist is a moralist. It’s absolutely unavoidable. Marguerite Duras
4. Journalists like to talk and write and produce, but the most important part of that process is learning how to listen. And that’s what makes you a good journalist. Kristen Welker
5. Everyone with a cell phone thinks they’re a photographer. Everyone with a laptop thinks they’re a journalist. But they have no training, and they have no idea of what we keep to in terms of standards, as in what’s far out and what’s reality. And they have no dedication to truth. Helen Thomas
6. A journalist who doesn’t bring a camera is like a warrior who doesn’t carry a sword. Lucio Tan
7. Every journalist owes tribute to the evil one. Jean de La Fontaine
8. A journalist is a person who has mistaken their calling. Otto von Bismarck
9. A good journalist is not the one that writes what people say, but the one that writes what he is supposed to write. Todor Zhivkov
10. As a journalist, the details always tell the story. James McBride
11. You have to go where the story is to report on it. As a journalist, you’re essentially running to things that other people are running away from. Lester Holt
12. I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world. Henry R. Luce
13. The curse of a journalist is that he always has more questions than answers. Bill Keller
14. I’m not a critic, I’m a journalist. I’m doing my job holding the government to account. Maria Ressa
15. You have two options when you approach a hostile checkpoint in a war zone, and each is a gamble. The first is to stop and identify yourself as a journalist and hope that you are respected as a neutral observer. The second is to blow past the checkpoint and hope the soldiers guarding it don’t open fire on you. Lynsey Addario
16. I became a journalist partly so that I wouldn’t ever have to rely on the press for my information. Christopher Hitchens
17. If you’re a good journalist, what you do is live a lot of things vicariously, and report them for other people who want to live vicariously. Harry Reasoner
18. I’m a Christian, a wife, a mother, a homeschooler, a conservative, a citizen journalist, a talk radio host, an insatiable music nerd who plays a poor rhythm guitar, a blogger, a proud granddaughter of a sailor, and a proud tea partier in awe of the potential and the people in this movement. Dana Loesch
19. I was a scholarship minor public school day boy at Ardingly College and later Whitgift School. Then, straight into work as a journalist – a wonderful thing for a writer. Neil Gaiman
20. The great thing about celebrity culture is that they can’t seem to stop themselves from displaying their ridiculous behaviour. I feel it’s my job as a serious investigative journalist to witness all kinds of behaviour and then report back to the audience through the prism of my own anger and bitterness. Kathy Griffin
21. My father was very disappointed by war and fighting. And he thought language could help us out of cycles of revenge and animosity. And so, as a journalist, he always found himself asking lots of questions and trying to gather information. He was always very clear to underscore the fact that Jewish people and Arab people were brother and sister. Naomi Shihab Nye
22. My father once said something very shrewd about me to a woman journalist who had told him how courageous she thought I was for always speaking my mind. My father said, ‘If you couldn’t care less what anyone says about you, then it’s not courage.’ Gore Vidal
23. It’s difficult for me, to look into eyes of a journalist and trust him to present it as you say. Rik Mayall
24. If I wanted to take a more activist or journalistic slant in work, I should probably just go be an activist or a journalist. But I’m happy being a comedian. John Oliver
25. Of all possible subjects, travel is the most difficult for an artist, as it is the easiest for a journalist. W. H. Auden
26. I went to UMass-Amherst and was like, ‘I want to work in news, I want to be a journalist.’ Then I got there and was like, ‘what kind of crap is this?’ They inflate everything. It will be like snowing outside, like just a little bit, and they are like ‘Giant storm coming, batten down the hatches!’ and I just didn’t like that aspect of it. Jason Nash
27. If you are a reliable, honest journalist, sources will open up and trust you and share good information. Wolf Blitzer
28. There is a type of snobbish, pompous journalist who thinks that the only news that has any validity is war, famine, pestilence or politics. I don’t come from that school. Piers Morgan
29. When I was leaving NBC News to go to CNN, people would say, ‘What?! Why would you possibly leave the ‘Today Show’ to go to cable?’ If I would’ve listened to people, I would’ve been on a great platform, but I wouldn’t have grown as a journalist. So far, most of the steps in my career have been really good. Soledad O’Brien
30. If I was President of the United States, I’d rather be right than interesting. If I was CEO of a company, I’d rather be right than interesting. But I’m a journalist – what journalist would rather be right than interesting? Malcolm Gladwell
31. I’m in politics to change things – if possible, for the better. I was a journalist for a long time, but I had a kind of midlife crisis, and I decided I needed to do something to get on the pitch and stop endlessly kicking over other peoples’ sandcastles. Boris Johnson
32. What I learned in school made me a better journalist and a better writer because forensic science is, as scientific disciplines must be, about critical thinking and objective analysis. Sarah Weinman
33. A journalist is supposed to present an unbiased portrait of an event, a view devoid of intimate emotions. This is impossible, of course. The framing of an image, by its very composition, represents a choice. The photographer chooses what to show and what to exclude. Alexandra Kerry
34. I’m a huge music fan. I usually say that if I had been born with a musical inclination, it would’ve been great. The Beatles changed everything for me, and I wanted to be a journalist for ‘Rolling Stone.’ I’m a big music fan in a Cameron Crowe way, kind of in a spectator way. Emma Stone
35. Unlike other professions – doctor, lawyer, teacher, journalist, sales clerk, stock broker – when a cop makes a bad mistake, it could mean someone is dead. They take home mental baggage unlike anything carried in almost every other job. Mike Barnicle
36. This much we know: Journalism is not a precise science. It’s, on its best day, is a crude art. We make mistakes; I make mistakes. With more than 50 years as a journalist, I have at least had the opportunity to blow more stories, make more mistakes than maybe anybody in television. Dan Rather
37. As a journalist, you want to try to maintain that objectivity and detachment. Susanna Reid
38. I’m not searching for hard news; I’m not a journalist, but I’m interested in pushing to boundaries of where we can do the kind of stories that we want to do. I mean, it’s a big world and CNN has made it a lot bigger and they haven’t flinched. Anthony Bourdain
39. I became a journalist at 17. A few hours later, I saw my first dead body, which was somewhat… colourful. That’s when I learned you can go on throwing up after you run out of things to throw up. Terry Pratchett
40. I’m a journalist, I run to the fire, that’s what we do. Shepard Smith
41. When I started out as a music journalist, at the end of the 1980s, it was generally assumed that we were living through the lamest music era the world would ever see. But those were also the years when hip-hop exploded, beatbox disco soared, indie rock took off, and new wave invented a language of teen angst. Rob Sheffield
42. I want to go to college to study journalism. I want to speak French fluently, to travel. My mom was a journalist and it’s in my blood. Mandy Moore
43. I had rather be called a journalist than an artist. H. G. Wells
44. Journalism is the protection between people and any sort of totalitarian rule. That’s why my hero, admittedly a flawed one, is a journalist. Andrew Vachss
45. As much as I’m not a journalist, I use journalism. And when you photograph a relationship, it’s quite wonderful to let something unfold in front of you. Annie Leibovitz
46. I grew up with ‘The Denver Post’ and the ‘Golden Transcript.’ There was never a moment that I thought I’d work at the ‘New York Times.’ My goal, starting out, was just to see if I could be a journalist. John Branch
47. Critics? Don’t talk to me of critics! You think some jackanapes journalist, his soul eaten away by the maggots of jealousy and failure, has anything worthwhile to say of art? I don’t. Jonathan Raban
48. I wanted to be a lawyer. Then a journalist. Actually, I graduated from university as a journalist. Hugh Jackman
49. CBS fought very hard on this because it believed and believes that there’s a principle at stake here. The principle is that Dan Rather doesn’t work for the police, and that people that speak to Dan Rather understand that he’s a journalist and not a police agent. Floyd Abrams
50. It’s a little bit in the genes because my brother is a journalist and my father was a sports writer. Patricia Heaton
51. Friend of mine, a smart journalist, had his iPad stolen. He couldn’t help that – the thief broke into his house. But his private, personal data wasn’t stolen, exactly. Donated, more like. He had no passcode set on the iPad. Barton Gellman
52. A scared journalist produces a lifeless citizen. If our news is scared of the government, it is great injustice to readers and viewers who have been cheated in the name of news. Ravish Kumar
53. Before acting, I wanted to become a journalist. I also toyed with the idea of being a chef – but that’s only when people asked me what I wanted to be. In fact, I always used to say I wanted to be an actor, but I didn’t ever believe that I was good enough to be come one. Ian Mckellen
54. I never actually went anywhere when I was a journalist. I was a critic, and I just sort of got stuff in the mail and chatted about it. Colson Whitehead
55. A long life in journalism convinced me many presidents ago that there should be a large air space between a journalist and the head of a state. Walter Lippmann
56. It’s hard for me to think about this, but I first went to Southeast Asia as a Marine more than 40 years ago, as a young Marine. I was on Okinawa and then in Vietnam. I’ve returned in many different hats, which I think has helped me to form my own views about policy out there. I’ve spent a good bit of time in this region as a journalist. Jim Webb
57. As a professional journalist, I’ve been interviewing people for almost thirty years. And the one thing I’ve learned from all those interviews is that I am always going to be surprised. Hector Tobar
58. I have been active as a writer and journalist for nearly forty years. But the number of great reporters I have run across in that time would make, as they say, a slim book. Without question, the top man on my list would be Tommy Thompson. Shana Alexander
59. If a journalist comes to you with a great story, one of the first questions you ask is how did you get it. How you got it is relevant to judging its accuracy and preparing yourself for any legal challenge. Andrew Neil
60. As a journalist, I know what it is like to incur the self-righteous wrath of people who denounce you for things you didn’t say or didn’t mean. Anne Applebaum
61. The desire to become a journalist came really because I very much like living abroad, and like to travel, and wanted to be paid for it. John Pomfret
62. If I had not become an actress, I would be a journalist or a psychologist: I like to analyze the mind and be involved in political moments that change history. Mia Goth
63. If you’re curious, you’ll probably be a good journalist because we follow our curiosity like cats. Diane Sawyer
64. The ‘Fake News Alert’ Chrome extension, created by ‘New York Magazine’ journalist Brian Feldman, identifies hoax news articles. However, cutting out fake news source entirely from operating is easier said than done, since anyone with internet access can create fake news. Fabrizio Moreira
65. Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. Janet Malcolm
66. I would say as a journalist, I would envision travelling to other countries that have had to reckon with their past and see how they’ve done it: what worked, what didn’t work, finding characters that would tell the story of how that process was done. Ta-Nehisi Coates
67. One journalist estimated my liquid net worth at $25 million. That’s pretty close. My houses are worth another $7 million. Suze Orman
68. Everybody is an expert on one thing – that’s what I learned in my high school journalism class – and that’s, of course, his own life. And everybody deserves to live and have his story told. And if it doesn’t seem like an interesting story, then that’s the failure of the listener, or the journalist who retells it badly. William T. Vollmann
69. A duped newspaper or magazine could contend that a fiction-spouting journalist obtained part of his salary via fraud, and use a criminal proceeding to try and recoup that money. Given the profession’s notoriously low wages, however, it’s probably not worth the publicity headache and legal fees. No news organization has ever pursued such a case. Brendan I. Koerner
70. I prefer the word ‘journeyman’ to ‘journalist’ because I think that certainly, when you hear a story, you want to hear certain facts. But I also think what makes a story interesting is the points of view expressed therein. Jason Silva
71. Colleagues will malign you if you’re a moderately successful journalist. Robert Fisk
72. I’m a journalist; I love doing interviews, and I hope that will continue. David Gregory
73. I had been laughed at my whole life through school, and I never really thought of it as a vocation. I mean, I started off as a soldier, and then I went into the university thinking I was going to be a journalist, but comedy kind of fell on my head and demanded I pursue it. Rhys Darby
74. As a parent who is also a journalist, when I talk to the brother and the sister of a victim or the parent of a victim, I put myself in their position and imagine what would it be like if that happened to me. Chris Hansen
75. Journalist: a person without any ideas but with an ability to express them; a writer whose skill is improved by a deadline: the more time he has, the worse he writes. Karl Kraus
76. Until I was 21, I wasn’t going into the media. I was a professional show jumper; I was going to have a farm… Then my father died, and it changed my life. I realised I had to have a go at being a journalist to see if I could cut the mustard. Jonathan Dimbleby
77. Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. Clive Owen
78. When it came to political power, blacks need not apply. Add to this steaming stew the growing tensions over the Vietnam War and the movement for civil rights, and you had plenty of elements to fire the imagination of a novice journalist. Andrea Mitchell
79. I’ve always thought that travelling every day as a journalist on the Tour’s got to be harder than actually racing. Greg LeMond
80. I always wanted to be part of the media. I knew I wanted to work as a journalist. Ana Kasparian
81. As a print journalist, you can be frustrated by people who don’t call you back, parts of the story you can’t get. TV gets you access to everyone because people call you back. It also allows you to satisfy your curiosity. I am a very curious person. Tucker Carlson
82. If a person is not talented enough to be a novelist, not smart enough to be a lawyer, and his hands are too shaky to perform operations, he becomes a journalist. Norman Mailer
83. I wanted to be a journalist, I thought it was glamorous and that I’d meet beautiful women in the rain. Bill Nighy
84. I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn’t really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going. Richard Branson
85. The responsibility that I feel is to do as good a job as a journalist as I can possibly do. Ted Koppel
86. After working as a journalist I went to a writing program at Johns Hopkins. It was interesting because it was neither journalistic nor historical, but it emphasized writing style, and afterwards I was asked to write my first book. Iris Chang
87. I think for a young journalist, it’s better to write for the Web at the moment than it is for print. Tina Brown
88. My challenge was even greater as a journalist, because this was happening in my own backyard. Paula Zahn
89. I very much wanted to be accepted by my peers, to be considered a serious journalist. Jessica Savitch
90. I’m a journalist and that’s what I do. Jim Lehrer
91. As a journalist, one tends to think there’s nothing off limits. Peter Jennings
92. I think any journalist who spends time in a place realizes that there are lots of stories around beyond their primary story. You meet so many interesting people and have all kinds of experiences. Joe Sacco
93. Well, I don’t know how astute I am, but I did want to be a journalist when I was growing up. Carol Burnett
94. In February I secured permission to enter Osama bin Laden’s compound in the northern Pakistani city of Abbottabad, where he was killed and where he had lived for the last half-decade of his life; the first, and only, journalist to do so. Peter Bergen
95. I was happy being a journalist. I didn’t realize losing my job, my identity went with it. Maria Shriver
96. Everybody comes to the journalist with an agenda. Shepard Smith
97. Well, I don’t know about objectivity, but I know for certain that it’s always possible for a professional journalist who understands what he or she’s up to to be fair, and that’s the key word. Fairness to individuals, fairness to ideas, and to issues and whatever – that is critical, and that is also part and parcel of what the job. Jim Lehrer
98. When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder the year I turned 50, it was certainly a shock. But as a journalist, knowing a little bit about a lot of things, I didn’t suffer the misconception that depression was all in my head or a mark of poor character. I knew it was a disease, and, like all diseases, was treatable. Jane Pauley
99. The one thing that shaped my life was when I was 15 or 16: I knew I wanted to be a journalist. And not just a journalist, but a journalist in the Middle East, and to go back to the Arab world and try to understand what it meant to be Lebanese. Anthony Shadid
100. I think credibility is one of those things that, if you work hard and you get it by standing in the trenches and traveling the world, people realize you’re multi-faceted. Part of me is a serious journalist and I loved all of the stuff I did. And then there’s another part of me that likes to let go and I think a lot of women can relate to that. Hoda Kotb

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