Erie Weekly Gazette, April 4, 1861

We have heretofore taken occasion to advise our readers to receive with large grains of allowance the rumors and assertions of a certain class of Washington and Southern correspondents—especially the "secession" trash that appears under the Special Telegraphic heads of the New York dailies. We would repeat the admonition, with the assurance that much of the so called "special correspondence" is entirely bogus. The largest portion of it is manufactured, and palmed upon the credulous as veritable "news from Washington." It is the work of prolific imaginations, bent upon creating a "sensation"—or rather, a demand for the papers.

We therefore again warn all readers to beware of this "special correspondence" confidence game, and not be deceived into believing mischievous falsehoods when they come in the guise of "special despatches" to New York or Philadelphia journals.

It is a pitiful dodge on the part of leading papers—this modern system of manufacturing news; and it has done and is now doing more to destroy public confidence in the veracity or reliability of the American press than any or all other causes combined. The sooner editors abandon this means of making their columns "interesting" the better it will be for themselves and the cause of truth and general intelligence. For our part, we can see no difference, as a matter of honor, between deliberately forging false news to impose upon the public and forging bank paper to impose upon individuals.

A safe plan is to believe nothing you find in a "sensation" column, however seemingly well authenticated. Better await its presentation in a perfectly reliable form, and thus fortify yourself against the disappointment usually attendant upon receiving as facts the statements of the above-referred to class of news-gatherers.