Friday, July 17, 2009

"And That's the Way it Was"

American journalism lost a legend today. Below is a link to an impressive piece from TV critic Robert Lloyd that not only details what made Walter Cronkite so great but also issues a bitch slap challenge to today's news media.

News in the 24/7 cycle has become commodity. How does one stand out with class and elegance when the whole world is just a constant barrage of information? While we as media professionals struggle to figure that out, we will be doing so under the watchful eye of Walter Cronkite looking down from above. RIP.

The mix of eloquence and authority that the CBS newsman embodied is a far cry from today's anxiety-provoking TV outlets.
By ROBERT LLOYD, Television Critic
5:30 PM PDT, July 17, 2009
For many who grew up in the 1960s and '70s, Walter Cronkite was the voice of unfolding history. On the "CBS Evening News" and on the spot, his eloquent mediation of the great events of an age almost pathologically overflowing with them was essential to the way those events were understood. Even when he was temporarily at a loss for words -- his tears at the death of John F. Kennedy, his inarticulate glee at the moon landing ("Whew, boy!") -- he somehow spoke for the nation he spoke to.

Cronkite was not just a newsman; he was -- like Edward R. Murrow, who brought him to CBS and television -- as close a thing to the idea of a newsman as his age imagined. Except perhaps for Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, his high-powered NBC competition, all TV news anchors, news readers and news reporters, even the most august of them, seemed like variations on his theme, shadows of his Platonic ideal. A decade after his retirement from the anchor's chair, he was still being named the most trusted man in network news. (more)

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