January 25, 1946
Delivering the annual Phi Beta Kappa address, entitled “Press in a Troubled World,” Edwin L. James, managing editor of The New York Times, gave a detailed assessment of the current state of the world press. While the press in Germany and Italy, he said, was understandably not presently under the direct control of Germans and Italians, the strong traditions of a free press in those countries before Hitler and Mussolini went “war crazy” boded well for the future.
James reserved his strongest criticism for the press in the Soviet Union. “We believe,” he said, “the press should tell all truths to the members of a democracy so that the citizenship, individually and collectively, may exercise its judgment in a really democratic form of government. Not at all, say the Russians. They argue that the real role of their press is to tell the people of their country that which will be useful to the Government.” The New York Times