E. B. White – Writings from The New Yorker 1927-1976 (1953)

Our private feeling about newspapers is a mixed one. Surely ninety per cent of all so-called news is old stuff–some of it two and three thousand years old. And surely ninety per cent of everything we read today is discouraging stuff, whether newsy or not. So the breakfast hour is the hour when we sit munching stale discouragement along with fresh toast. Except for one thing, we could take a newspaper or leave it alone. If we felt confident that liberty was secure and that democracy would remain in good health without assistance from its many admirers, we could do without a newspaper quite handily. … Nothing much happens from day to day. … But city dwellers without newspapers breathe an ominous air, as though the smog were descending. Liberty is not secure. Democracy does not thrive unassisted. And so, for love of these, we all swallow our bulletins at breakfast along with our marmalade.

“Newspaper Strike”

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