There is a widespread prejudice against the newspapers, based on the belief that they cannot be trusted to report truly the current events in the world’s life on account of incompetence or venality. But in spite of this distrust we are almost altogether dependent on them for our knowledge of widely interesting events….The function of the newspaper in a well-ordered society is to control the state through the authority of facts, not to drive nations and social classes headlong into war through the power of passion and prejudice.
The source? The American Newspaper: A Study in Social Psychology (JSTOR) by one Delos Wilcox writing in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science…. July 1900.