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In the News Walter Cronkite

July 23, 2009

VIEW: From our News War series, correspondent Lowell Bergman's 2006 interview with Cronkite about the authority he attained with the American public and the impact of his newscasts.

At the end of the clip, Cronkite talks about delivering news that CBS's editors considered "important to most of the people."

He was certainly speaking here about an earlier generation of newscasts, an earlier world that no longer exists. In Cronkite's era (1962-1981), CBS's newscast didn't lead with Elvis Presley's death (1977); on the night Michael Jackson died, all three networks opened with the story.

You might want to read David Halberstam's insightful 1976 piece which considered Cronkite's appeal and durability. And explore here FRONTLINE's many interviews with journalists about the role of the press in a democratic society, and the changes in journalism over recent decades. It's all part of our 2007 News War series.

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COMMENTS

As one who grew up watching Walter Cronkite on the evening news, I surely do miss his wisdom and insight. Much of what passes for news today is often painful to watch.

Alice Frazier / August 8, 2009 8:16 PM
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