Monday, November 12, 2007

The Enduring
Wisdom of
'Uncle Walter'

'Q: Doctors and lawyers have rather well-defined codes of professional standards, but journalists don't. Do you think they should?
A: I don't really see that they need to be imposed, and I see some dangers in it. Freedom of press and speech seems to imply that anybody can write or speak out, whether he's literate or not. Erecting standards would also suggest that you're going to legislate against the underground press, and I think that would be a mistake. If you're going to accept journalists only if they conform to some establishment norm, you won't have the new blood and free flow of new ideas that are absolutely essential to a vital press. I don't know that Tom Paine could have passed a journalism-review test.'
--from a 1973 Playboy Magazine interview with CBS anchor Walter Cronkite.


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