Henri hadn't kept the paper going all this time only to see it turn into something like those prewar rags. Then, the whole press had been dedicated to fooling the public; the knock of presenting one-sided views in a convincing, authoritative manner had become an art. And the result soon became apparent: deprived of their daily oracle, the people were lost. Today, everyone agreed more or less on the essentials; the polemics and the partisan campaigns were out. Now was the time to educate their readers instead of cramming things down their throats. No more dictating opinions to them; rather teach them to judge for themselves. It wasn't simple. Often they insisted on answers, and he had to be constantly on his guard lest he give them an impression of ignorance doubt, or incoherence. But that was precisely the challenge– meriting their confidence rather than robbing them of it.
This was written in the 1900s. We have arrived at a press that does present multi-faceted viewpoints or at least the general public believes in reading from multiple sources, to gain perspective. Yet, despite all our perspective and self-education, we are still lost. We've only arrived at the same position by moving to the opposite end of the spectrum. This is the conflict between relativism and absolutism. ↩︎
—Simone de Beauvoir, Les Mandarins, p. 26