Misquoting Cicero

Brian O’Dea writes: Re. “Quoting quandary: Entsch gets it wrong” (yesterday).Coincidentally, somebody sent me the same quote earlier in the week. Invariably suspicious of these widely-circulated pieces of wisdom, I immediately checked it with my old friend Snopes. It seems the quote was penned by Taylor Caldwell in her 1965 novel A Pillar of Iron.

On journalism as a public service

James O’Neill writes: Re. “Beecher: civic journalism and the conspiracy of denial at the top” (yesterday). Eric, the discussion on Media Watch was a good one, and the refusal by Fairfax and News Corp to participate was revealing. The question must be: how do we maintain a viable public interest forum when traditional sources of revenue, such as advertising, are disappearing for the print media? Although you do not mention it in your article, it was raised last night, and that is to have a publicly funded print media, free from political control. The devil as always will be in the details. But the present trajectory is clearly unsatisfactory, and worse, posed a very real threat to the notion of having power held accountable. Of course, the failure of the mainstream media to perform that role properly is one of the reasons their readership is going south at a rate of knots.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey