Newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) is credited with saying in 1899: “Every reporter is a hope and every editor is a disappointment.” Pulitzer (the Pulitzer prizes are named after him) was always a friend to reporters.
Wikipedia: Joseph Pulitzer
Joseph Pulitzer (pronounced /ˈpʊlɨtsər/ PULL-it-sər; April 10, 1847–October 29, 1911), né Politzer József, was a Hungarian-American publisher best known for posthumously establishing the Pulitzer Prizes and for originating yellow journalism along with William Randolph Hearst.
In 1883, Pulitzer, by then a wealthy man, purchased the New York World, a newspaper that had been losing $40,000 a year, for $346,000 from Jay Gould. Pulitzer shifted its focus to human-interest stories, scandal, and sensationalism. In 1885, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, but resigned after a few months’ service. In 1887, he recruited the famous investigative journalist Nellie Bly. In 1895 the World introduced the immensely popular The Yellow Kid comic by Richard F. Outcault, the first newspaper comic printed with color. Under Pulitzer’s leadership circulation grew from 15,000 to 600,000, making it the largest newspaper in the country.
The editor of the rival New York Sun attacked Pulitzer in print, calling him in 1890 “The Tucker who abandoned his religion”. This was intended to alienate Pulitzer’s Jewish readership. Pulitzer’s already failing health deteriorated rapidly and he withdrew from the daily management of the newspaper, although he continued to actively manage the paper from his vacation retreat in Bar Harbor, Maine, and his New York mansion.
Training for the Newspaper Trade
By Don Carlos Seitz
Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott Company
The late Professor Thomas Davidson, (Pg. 67—ed.) most learned of men, once asked Joseph Pulitzer why he was so tolerant and kindly toward reporters and so severe in his judgment of editors.
“Because,” he replied, “a reporter is always a hope and an editor always a disappointment.”
21 May 1925, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, pg. 10:
“The new men on the paper were always under scrutiny and the old ones never free from the test. One day at the lunch table at Bar Harbor, in October, 1899, the company was discussing the achievements of an able reporter, C. W. Tyler, who had just done a very good piece of work. Mr. Pulitzer was complimenting Tyler highly. Prof. Thomas Davidson, who was present, spoke up and said: “I cannot understand why it is, Mr. Pulitzer, that you always speak so kindly of reporters and so severely of all editors.” “Well,” he replied, “I suppose it is because every reporter is a hope, and every editor is a disappointment.”
10 February 1935, New York (NY) TImes, “Uses of Brevity; Simplicity Preferred to Many Words” by Arthur Elliot Sproul, pg. E9:
Recollection comes of the petulant epigram of the owner of The World, Joseph Pulitzer: “Every reporter is a hope; every editor is a disappointment.”
Editor and Editorial Writer
By Arthur Gayle Waldrop
New York, NY: Rinehart
Before Pulitzer died in 1911 Cobb had disproved the publisher’s petulant epigram: “Every reporter is a hope; every editor is a disappointment.”
Behind the prize for public service journalism
By Roy J. Harris
Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press
One Joseph Pulitzer aphorism that Swope favored was “Every reporter is a hope, every editor a disappointment.”
COLUMN: State of the Union a reminder Obama is just getting started
Thursday, January 28, 2010 | 2:13 p.m. CST
BY George Kennedy
There’s an old saying in journalism that translates easily to politics: “Every reporter is a hope; every editor a disappointment.” That’s an exaggeration, of course, but journalists get the point.
Similarly, citizens have learned that candidates always get our hopes up and elected officials inevitably let us down.
New York City • Media/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • (0) Comments • Wednesday, February 10, 2010 • Permalink