Sunday, July 19, 2009

They shall no longer be called "news media"

I am too young to remember a Walter Cronkite delivery of the news. All I know about him are the clips I've seen and his '96 documentary (re-aired updated tonight on CBS). But from what I've heard about the man he abhorred the thought of becoming more than the news. Someone mentioned that he should run for office since he was "the most trusted man in America," and this idea angered him because it was never about him, it was about the news.

I think CBS has really dishonored his memory this weekend. They refused to report the news on Saturday night, using their entire 30 minutes to talk about Cronkite.

Dan Abrams of the Huffington Post writes:

Actions speak louder than words. Even in reporting on his death many journalists have violated one of Cronkite's basic tenets: report the news don't become it. How many times this weekend have we heard top journalists memorializing Cronkite with sentences beginning with the word I. "I met Cronkite in. . ." or "I remember seeing him. . ."

CBS Evening News has lagged in the ratings for years and you would think they'd figure it out. I now think it's a SHAM to call them journalists. 25 minutes for Michael Jackson, 30 minutes for Cronkite. When there are wars, major legislation, terrorist attacks, and domestic news as well. SHAME ON YOU, CBS!

So, I will no longer watch CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and I miss Bob Schieffer behind the desk. Heck, I wish they'd bring back Dan Rather at this point.

As the people at PBS NewsHour recently reminded me, Journalists have a duty to discern what is newsworthy and what affects the American people, not to solely pursue ratings or present stories they think the most people will watch.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I remember learning that tenant in my journalism classes in college: Report the news, don't become it. It does make me sad to see how far the current TV media has come from those basics I learned in school. So I don't watch the news.