Calvin Coolidge Says, October 18, 1930

Date: October 18, 1930

Location:  Northampton, MA

(Original document available here)

Newspapers always have a very serious problem in giving the public what it wants to read, and so getting a circulation, and at the same time presenting a candid report and comment on really consequential current news and so promoting general education and forming sound public opinion. This is important, because newspapers are more and more read, are the chief medium for distributing information, are generally accepted by the people as accurate and authoritative and ought to be a cross-section of the record of contemporaneous history. Future historians will have to rely on them largely for enlightenment concerning the most important events. That is a great responsibility for newspapers to discharge.

Like almost everything else, the standards of the press are ultimately set by the people themselves. They will get what they insist on having. If they want a reliable, serious, informing newspaper, it will be furnished for them. If they are content with exciting, highly colored sensationalism, they will get that. The present tendency is toward higher standards. The once purely ephemeral and sensational paper is changing its tone. It is a healthful and encouraging development, indicating the advance of the people to a broader culture.

Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)

The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Robert Manchester who prepared this document for digital publication.

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