Newspapers according to Thoreau

Been relaxing with a copy of Henry David Thoreau‘s Walden for much of this afternoon, and I came across the following passage on newspapers. I tend to think about journalism a lot–given that until recently it’s how I made my living and will probably be my profession again–and have often thought that the practice has changed much (and for the better) since the middle of the 19th century, but after reading this, I’m not so sure:

“And I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper. If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter,–we never need read of another. One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications? To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea.”

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