So, to repeat: could we please (please, please) collectively agree to put the kibosh on Jefferson’s quote? Or, at least, to stop using it so misleadingly? Because each time the line is run—truncated, out of context—it serves as an indictment, rather than an endorsement, of the Fourth Estate.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.