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Sat Mar 6, 2021, 10:38 AM

Cronkite signed off 40 years ago; it seems like an eon in news standards

It was 40 years ago on March 6 that news anchor Walter Cronkite signed off “The CBS Evening News” for the final time, stating his tag line, “That’s the way it is.” The phrase was more than just a signature ending of his nightly newscast. It was a statement that his newscast was designed to, as he put it, “hold up the mirror — to tell and show the public what has happened.”

Holding up the mirror meant focusing on actual news, steering away from advocacy, and nailing down facts. There was a reason that polls of the era listed Cronkite as the most trusted man in America. He projected a fatherly personality and professional image. He spoke in a slow, deliberate manner. He imposed strict standards for accuracy and objectivity into his broadcasts. Every writer and producer on his team knew the perfectionist’s expectations and knew not to stray into personal bias or activism.

The journalism world could use more of the Cronkite method today.

Cronkite had Midwestern roots, growing up in Missouri. He started college at the University of Texas, but left before graduating — for a reporting job. He developed his professional standards for accuracy in the real world, primarily as a reporter for the wire service, United Press. Wire services of that time put a premium on keeping reports fact-based and free of bias.



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Reply Cronkite signed off 40 years ago; it seems like an eon in news standards (Original post)
LiberalArkie Mar 6 OP
albacore Mar 6 #1
Lochloosa Mar 6 #2

Response to LiberalArkie (Original post)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 10:49 AM

1. Cronkite DID "stray into personal bias or activism"....

When he went to Vietnam and found that the military was lying about the possibility of victory, he said so. And it helped end the war.

Today, any journalist who does that kind of thing is a hero - like Cronkite was.

The difference today is that some journalists simply parrot the lies that are being put out by some politicians and interest groups. Other journalists lack the courage to call the lies what they are...lies. NPR is an example. Their "both sides" approach puts lies and facts on an equal footing.

I'm biased. I admit it freely. I'm biased toward the facts, the numbers, and the truth. I expect journalists to be the same. If they aren't, they're simply part of the lie.

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Response to albacore (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 11:33 AM

2. This.

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