A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“My girlfriend told me to go out and get something that makes her look sexy…so I got drunk” (10/17)
“How do you stop a dog from barking in the back yard?"/"Put it in the front yard.” (10/17)
“What do you call a nightmare about paper?"/"A bad ream.” (10/17)
“I’ve been cutting carbs lately—with a pizza cutter” (10/17)
“Why did the dog cross the road?"/"To get to the barking lot.” (10/17)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from October 30, 2012
“Journalism consists in buying white paper at two cents a pound and selling it at ten cents a pound”

"Journalism consists in buying white paper at two cents a pound and selling it at ten cents a pound” is a 19th century statement meaning that good journalism is what people will pay for.  “The first principle of journalism, as viewed from the business office, is to buy paper for two cents a pound and sell it for 10 cents a pound” was cited in print in 1893, but he person who said it was not identified. In 1912, the line was credited to “a New York editor, at that time President of the New York Press Club.”

The author Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) wrote in 1920:

“I cry to you that Journalism shall no longer be the thing described to you by Charles A. Dana, master-cynic of the ‘New York Sun,’ ‘buying white paper at two cents a pound and selling it at ten cents a pound.’”

Charles Anderson Dana (1819-1897) is now regularly credited for the line. Although the price of newsprint has changed—and some newspapers have given up print editions—the quotation is still cited to indicate that journalism is, ultimately, a business.


Wikipedia: Charles Anderson Dana
Charles Anderson Dana (August 8, 1819 – October 17, 1897) was an American journalist, author, and government official, best known for his association with Ulysses S. Grant during the American Civil War and his aggressive political advocacy after the war.
(...)
He became the editor and part-owner of The Sun (New York) in 1868, and remained in control of it until his death.

22 August 1893, Watertown (NY) Times, ‘The Newspaper’s Character,” pg. 4, col. 2:
As one gentleman puts it, “the first principle of journalism, as viewed from the business office, is to buy paper for two cents a pound and sell it for 10 cents a pound.”

Google Books
28 December 1912, The Outlook, pg. 870, col. 1:
A few years ago a New York editor, at that time President of the New York Press Club, described New York journalism as a mere manufacturing process in which the proprietor bought white paper (his raw material) at two cents a pound, ran it through a machine called a printing-press, supplying it with something called printers’ ink, and sold his finished product (or newspaper) at ten cents a pound.

7 November 1919, Rockford (IL) Republic, pg. 18, col. 4:
Mr. Sinclair (Upton Sinclair—ed.), quoting an ancient one, says: “Journalism consists in buying white paper at 2 cents a pound and selling it at 10 cents a pound.”

Google Books
The Brass Check:
A Study of American Journalism

By Upton Sinclair
Pasadena, CA: Published by the author
1920
Pg. 427:
I cry to you for the integrity of your calling, for the honor and dignity of Journalism. I cry to you that Journalism shall no longer be the thing described to you by Charles A. Dana, master-cynic of the “New York Sun,” “buying white paper at two cents a pound and selling it at ten cents a pound.”

23 February 1944, Greensboro (NC) Record, pg. 8, col. 3:
Journalism consists in buying white paper at two cents a pound and selling it at ten cents a pound.—Dana.

Google Books
The American Treasury, 1455-1955
By Clifton Fadiman
New York, NY: Harper
1955
Pg. 280:
Journalism consists in buying white paper at two cents a pound and selling it at ten cents a pound.
CHARLES A. DANA

Google News Archive
19 May 1975, Nashua (NH) Telegraph, “Now You Know” by United Press International, pg. 9, col. 1:
The mythical headline “Man Bites Dog” was used by 19th century newspaper editor Charles A. Dana,as an illustration of his belief that “Journalism consists in buying white paper at 2 cents a pound and selling it for 10 cents.”

Google Books
20,000 Quips & Quotes
By Evan Esar
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books
1995, ©1968
Pg. 447:
Journalism consists in buying white paper at two cents a pound and selling it at ten cents a pound. -Charles A. Dana

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Tuesday, October 30, 2012 • Permalink