John Dickerson is a correspondent for 60 Minutes. He is also a Contributing Editor to The Atlantic and the host of the Whistlestop podcast and co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest.

Dickens on Journalism: some fanciful attraction or new air.

I am continuing to go through old notes and papers. I found a series of sentences I’d written down from Charles Dickens’ Selected Journalism. This one amused me:

“What I particularly want to impress upon you is, that it is not enough to see a thing and go home and describe it, but that the necessity is, forever upon us of patiently considering how to describe it so as to give some fanciful attraction or new air.”

First, if I start a publication, I might call it Some Fanciful Attraction. Second, the desire to make the news entertaining is not new.

Selected Journalism 1850-1870

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