News or Propaganda?

If the Government has a duty to get its viewpoint before the world, is it enough merely to send abroad the texts of state papers, speeches by and against the Administration? Particularly in the world's twilight areas..., where private news agencies would lose money operating--should the State Department send full news broadcasts of its own? ...

Last week the A.P. shut off the State Department's principal free supply of news. U.P. announced that it would follow suit. ...

Said the A.P.'s board: ". . . Government cannot engage in newscasting without creating the fear of propaganda, which necessarily would reflect upon the objectivity of the news services. . . ." ...

Shrewdly, Benton reminded A.P. that Britain, Russia and other nations get and pass on U.S. news from the A.P.'s report. If the use of A.P. news by BBC and Tass does not hurt the A.P. reputation for objectivity, how could U.S. broadcasts reflect on A.P.? ...

Ralph McGill of the Atlanta Constitution: "The attitude of the A.P. might make a silent giant of this country when every other giant and pigmy in the world is broadcasting its own interpretation of American news events and policies." ...

From "The Press: News or Propaganda?" published in Time, January 28, 1946.