Everything else is… something…

There’s a wonderful quote attributed to George Orwell:

Journalism is printing what someone else does not want published; everything else is public relations.

And of course, like all wonderful quotes, it’s a misquotation of something someone else said. The Quote Investigator blog dug into it; they have some citations back to 1894 but the earliest one that really resembles the above is an anonymous sentiment appearing on a placard in 1918:

Whatever a patron desires to get published is advertising; whatever he wants to keep out of the paper is news.

Then it goes through a bunch of changes attributed (without references) to William Randolph Hearst, Lord Northcliffe, Malcolm Muggeridge, Lord Rothermere, George Orwell (but not until 1999), and Katherine Graham. It does tend to get more polished with each rewording.

Well, whoever said it, it’s true. And that’s why as of today I subscribe to the New York Times and the LA Times. #resist



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