7.17.2009

That's the way it is

I really liked Katie Couric's show tonight on Walter Cronkite. It's truly the most appropriate format for an obit on this legendary newsman.


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I really hope Cronkite's standard of journalism isn't dying. Some would argue that it's already dead, but I don't agree. I think things are simply evolving and adapting to some seriously disruptive technological changes. The love of truth and representing important issues and stories to the public is what drives real journalism, and I can't see human beings ever surviving without that.

All these deaths lately are making me realize that I guess I finally am "growing up" (a.k.a. getting older). With Michael Jackson, it was remembering "Beat It" as one of the first music videos I'd ever seen. This time, it's remembering watching Walter Cronkite on the evening news. My mom would have it on during dinner, and I remember hearing him count each night how long the hostages had been held in Iran. I guess getting old isn't so bad -- think of all the history you get to see! (Uncle Walt himself would probably attest to that.)

I think what astonished me most about Katie's report was the part where they showed his old papers, and his old reporter's notebooks. He kept everything! I can't wait until that guy publishes his biography. I'd love to see some of Cronkite's old notes. It also makes me sad my own notebooks have rarely if ever captured anything worth saving for decades, and even when they have, my notes have always been so sloppy I don't think they'd be worth poring over ever again. I might have 'em tucked away somewhere nonetheless. (I guess reporters are reporters, whatever the generation! Gotta save your notes!)

2 comments:

NintendoTheory said...

Sadly, I think his kind of reporting and integrity doesn't really exist anymore... at least, in TV news; watching the 24 hour networks is just silly these days, and the fact they call themselves "journalists" is also silly. Are hotheaded bullies who only talk about the next big thing in entertainment the best we've got to offer these days? It's all a bit sad.

Hopefully the next wave of journalism is better. It's going to be online, sad as that makes me as a lover of print, but right now a lot of things need to be worked out (accountability, for one thing). Once they find themselves, and once citizen journalism reaches the point where they can both work in tandem, I think we'll have a new press that no one should take lightly, especially those in our society who think they can get away with just about anything (*cough*politicians*cough*).

Sort of on-topic, but EGM was always a good journalistic source for me. Sure, games aren't saving the world or anything, but it and its team of great writers (*cough*JennTsao*cough*) taught me a lot about what it takes to be a good writer and what editorial integrity really means.

Rexly PeƱaflorida II said...

I interned at a small town newspaper while I was at journalism camp (I'm a senior in high school) and the business editor said that people feel important when they are mentioned in the newspaper. They cut out the article and they pin it on the wall. Sure that can be done with online newspapers but the feeling isn't the same. As long as there are people who want that kind of feeling (and I think that there are still a lot of people like that) there will always be a print newspaper still publishing and more importantly, the kind of reporting that is similar to Cronkite will stick around.