OCTOBER 1, 1945
NEW YORK, Sunday—October 1 through October 8 has been chosen as the Sixth Annual National Newspaper Week. During the war years, we have been particularly conscious of the contribution made by war correspondents to the knowledge and understanding of the war by the people of the United States. Without the risks which they ran, we would have known little of what our men were accomplishing. They shared in the landings on foreign shores, they jumped with the airborne troops, they covered the seven seas, and many of them paid the same price that our servicemen paid and lie buried in foreign soil.
In the domestic field, we cannot say, of course, that every newspaper in this country holds to the ideals of giving its writers the freedom to write the truth as they see it. Many a paper expects that its writers will write from the point of view which they particularly wish to get across to the minds of the people in general. But that was not the case with the war correspondents. They wrote the facts as they saw them, and because of their devotion to the ideals of their profession, we have seen through their eyes a colorful and intimate picture of the happenings in this war.
Raymond Clapper and Ernie Pyle stand out in my mind as writers who have given me not only information, but much food for thought.
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The newspaper profession has been one in which a high standard of ethics was set many years ago, and by and large, that standard has been adhered to through the years. I have known men and women who have resigned their positions rather than write what they did not believe, and I am very proud to have a small part in a profession which helps to form the public opinion of the people of the United States.
It is a grave responsibility. But if every writer and every publisher and owner of a newspaper make a primary requirement of complete integrity from their writers, there is bound to be an honest diversity of opinion which will give the American people a good foundation on which to argue out their own convictions.
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Yesterday I attended the lunch given by the National Citizens Political Action Committee of New York City, at which former Secretary Morgenthau and General O'Dwyer spoke, among others. The National Citizens Political Action Committee is doing much to arouse public interest in contemporary political situations, and that seems to me a service to democracy.