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Claud Cockburn (1904 – 1981)


Influential left-wing English journalist; also a novelist, short-story writer and autobiographer.
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Claud Cockburn
There is nothing quite so terrifying as a mad sheep.
Cockburn quotes
Since becoming a journalist I had often heard the advice to "believe nothing until it has been officially denied".
Cockburn
Someone [on the staff of The Times] had invented a game a competition with a small prize for the winner to see who could write the dullest headline. It had to be a genuine headline, that is to say one which was actually printed in the next morning's newspaper. I won it only once with a headline which announced: "Small Earthquake in Chile. Not many dead."




Cockburn Claud quotes
He [Brendan Bracken] had been upset by my observation that a wartime Minister of Information was compelled, in the national interest, to such continuous acts of duplicity that even his natural hair must grow to resemble a wig.
Cockburn Claud
A newspaper is always a weapon in somebody's hands.
Claud Cockburn quotes
The hired journalist, I thought, ought to realize that he is partly in the entertainment business and partly in the advertising business advertising either goods, or a cause, or a government. He just has to make up his mind whom he wants to entertain, and what he wants to advertise.
Claud Cockburn
Evidently there are plenty of people in journalism who have neither got what they liked nor quite grown to like what they get. They write pieces they do not much enjoy writing, for papers they totally despise, and the sad process ends by ruining their style and disintegrating their personality, two developments which in a writer cannot be separated, since his personality and style must progress or deteriorate together, like a married couple in a country where death is the only permissible divorce.
Cockburn Claud quotes
If I wrote a book about England I should call it What About Wednesday Week? which is what English people say when they are making what they believe to be an urgent appointment.
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