Ben Bagdikian Quotes



Best 8 Quotes by Ben Bagdikian

“By now, the corporations that dominate our media, like alcoholic fat cats, treat this situation as theirs by right... Their concept of a diversity of views is the full range of politics and social values from center to far right. The American audience, having been exposed to a narrowing range of ideas over the decades, often assumes that what they see and hear in the major media is all there is. It is no way to maintain a lively marketplace of ideas, which is to say it is no way to maintain a democracy.”

“If you control the gate to the only well in town, you can charge whatever you want, or you can deny access to whomever you want. You can have the dirtiest water at the highest prices, and there will be very little choice.”

“If you no longer let the community hear all of it's significant voices - you begin to have; a single narrow view of: the problems of the society, of the solutions of society - and you begun soon or later overwhelmed by the society you don't understand.”

“In the US, voters cast ballots for individual candidates who are not bound to any party program except rhetorically, and not always then. Some Republicans are more liberal than some Democrats, some libertarians are more radical than some socialists, and many local candidates run without any party identification. No American citizen can vote intelligently without knowledge of the ideas, political background, and commitments of each individual candidate.”

“Letting a maximum number of views be heard regularly is not just a nice philosophical notion. It is the best way any society has yet discovered to detect maladjustments quickly, to correct injustices, and to discover new ways to meet our continuing stream of novel problems that rise in a changing environment.”

“The safest way to ensure diversity of opinion is diverse ownership. But this ideal has been sacrificed by our government.”

“Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach's 'St. Matthew's Passion' on a ukulele.”

On the role of journalists Quotes

“Never forget that your obligation is to the people. It is not, at heart, to those who pay you, or to your editor, or to your sources, or to your friends, or to the advancement of your career. It is to the public.”

On the role of journalists

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“After my knighthood was announced, a woman from the BBC came to Glasgow to interview me. We sat down in a lovely hotel in a nice part of town, and she hit me with her first question: This must mean a lot to you, with you coming from nothing?

I looked at her, and I laughed. ‘I didn't come from nothing’, I told her. ‘I come from something.’

I mean, I have never hidden that I come from humble stock. I grew up in the tenements of post-war Glasgow. In fact, I used to specify exactly where, onstage: it was on a kitchen floor, ‘on the linoleum, three floors up’.

The early years of my life were spent in grinding poverty but it wasn’t nothing. It was something – something very important.

There is this viewpoint that if you have come from the working class you have come from nothing, whereas the middle and upper classes are something, and I don’t hold with that opinion.

I think the working class is something. It is everything. They are the builders of society, and without them the whole house falls down.”


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