Slate hates quotes

“We hate quotations at Slate. We almost never use quotes. They don’t do anything. They waste the readers’ time. Only use quotes when you can’t say it better yourself.”

* Slate’s Jacob Weisberg talks at Columbia



  1. linda romanov said:

    Absurd — demonstrably so. His remark is, uh, a quote, correct? Silly man.

  2. Ken D. said:

    I think that print journalism tends to overvalue and overuse quotes. I wouldn’t go as far as Weisberg, but it is a discussion worth having.

  3. JohnM92311 said:

    I agree with Ken. The more and more fellow journalist I talk to say that a lot of these fresh-out-of-college kids use way to many quotes that are not necessary.

  4. Bill Reader said:

    In my classes, I always try to stress that it should be possible to remove all quotes from an article and have it remain informative and accurate.

    Except, of course, for articles about speeches — seems silly to not extensively quote a speech.

  5. Don Lee said:

    I agree completely with Weisberg about using quotes only when you can”t say it better yourself. I used to want to airlock the wunderkinds who would write the following:
    Weisberg said quotes should be used only if the writer can’t say it better.
    “Only use quotes when you can’t say it better yourself.,” Weisberg said (or stated, or commented, or …)

  6. Old Man said:

    The ironic thing is that most Slate stories are wastes of time these days.

    Maybe there are actually hidden quotes at the beginning and end of the story that readers can’t see.