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Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalismby Bob Edwards
Synopses & Reviews
The host of NPR's Morning Edition chronicles the rise of radio and television news.
In this brisk and incisive account, Bob Edwards shows us how Edward R. Murrow helped establish broadcast journalism — and, in the process, reminds us how far most broadcast news has fallen from the reportorial standards set by Murrow and the people he hired at CBS. Sent to Europe in the late 1930s by CBS, Murrow pioneered the concept of radio reports by foreign correspondents, nightly roundups of European news, and, later, "you are there" reports from London during the blitz. After the war, Murrow launched See It Now, the first in-depth television news program — and helped make CBS the gold standard for television news. Edwards brings to life the great stories Murrow covered — the blitz, bombing raids over Berlin, the liberation of Buchenwald, red-baiting by Senator Joe McCarthy — as well as the ups and downs of his career at CBS. Complete with an afterword that analyzes the decline of broadcast news since the 1980s, this book will be required reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century history and the media.
"Edwards delineates a brief but striking portrait of a 'driven man,' a fearless fighter who set such a high standard for himself and others that he became a legend, leaving a lasting impact in newsrooms even after his death in 1965." Publishers Weekly
"Edwards...brings perspective and knowledge to this memoir of radio and television legend Edward R. Murrow....Edwards brings to life the early days of radio and television and the innovations that Murrow sparked." Vanessa Bush, Booklist
"It's amazing to me that Bob Edwards, who didn't know Murrow, knows him so well...I found in this book the Murrow I knew." Daniel Schorr, Senior News Analyst, NPR
"Get it, read it, and pass it on. Every aspiring broadcast journalist should have it." Bill Moyers
"On the whole, this succinct and concise biography...offers an introduction to Murrow's fascinating career and to the history of broadcast journalism." Library Journal
Book News Annotation:
The career and innovative ideas of the American journalist Murrow, the founder of broadcast journalism as we know it today, is described in this small volume by Edwards, whose well-known voice is heard on NPR's Morning Edition.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A short popular history of how the creation of broadcast journalism — when Edward R. Murrow broadcast live from rooftops and streets of London under siege during the Battle of Britain — changed the way news was reported, how people in their homes saw war and other breaking events up close for the first time, and how the high standard of journalism Murrow created has evolved and how in the last generation has been betrayed.
"Get it, read it, and pass it on."
"Most Americans living today never heard Ed Murrow in a live broadcast. This book is for them I want them to know that broadcast journalism was established by someone with the highest standards. Tabloid crime stories, so much a part of the lust for ratings by today's news broadcasters, held no interest for Murrow. He did like Hollywood celebrities, but interviewed them for his entertainment programs; they had no place on his news programs. My book is focused on this life in journalism. I offer it in the hope that more people in and out of the news business will get to know Ed Murrow. Perhaps in time the descent from Murrow's principles can be reversed."
About the Author
Bob Edwards (Arlington, VA) has been the host since 1979 of NPR's Morning Edition, the most popular program on public radio, with 13 million listeners each week. He and his program won the prestigious Peabody Award in 1999 for "two hours of daily in-depth news and entertainment expertly helmed by a man who embodies the essence of excellence in radio"; he also won the Edward R. Murrow Award in 1984. He is the author of Fridays with Red.
Table of Contents
1. Roots 11
2. Higher Ed 19
3. Anschluss 29
4. The Blitz 43
5. Over Berlin 61
6. Buchenwald 79
7. Transition 93
8. McCarthy 105
9. See It Not 125
10. USIA 145
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