Quote of the Day on the Media

From Alexander Solzhenitsyn‘s scandalous commencement address at Harvard in 1978, on the press/media:

Because instant and credible information has to be given, it becomes necessary to resort to guesswork, rumors and suppositions to fill in the voids, and none of them will ever be rectified, they will stay on in the readers’ memory. How many hasty, immature, superficial and misleading judgments are expressed every day, confusing readers, without any verification. The press can both simulate public opinion and miseducate it. Thus we may see terrorists heroized, or secret matters, pertaining to one’s nation’s defense, publicly revealed, or we may witness shameless intrusion on the privacy of well-known people under the slogan: "everyone is entitled to know everything." But this is a false slogan, characteristic of a false era: people also have the right not to know, and it is a much more valuable one. The right not to have their divine souls stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk. A person who works and leads a meaningful life does not need this excessive burdening flow of information.

Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic disease of the 20th century and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press. In-depth analysis of a problem is anathema to the press. It stops at sensational formulas.

2 comments on “Quote of the Day on the Media
  • So pertinent to today, that I didn’t even realize it was from 1978 until I looked at the reference again!

    On a similar note, since blogging, reading more books, and fitting a workout into my schedule, I’ve literally lost touch with TV. I don’t feel the urge to fill up my time when I’ve already pre-selected what I really want to be involved in during the day.

    Great quote!

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