Walter Cronkite

With the passing of Walter Cronkite, we see the era of journalists as major movers and shakers - the "Gatekeepers" of news and opinion - passing farther and farther behind us.

Thirty years ago, Cronkite was the biggest star of mass news media when the rise of cable television was the beginning of a wave of technological change which transformed a world where Americans then relied primarily upon television news and newspapers for information. He leaves us in a time where newspapers are slashing large parts of their staffs and many rely on several sources of news inputs for their information.

In an era where you can get your news with all sorts of angles - partisan selectiveness, satire, short clips or long discussions - it seems a bit odd that the likes of Cronkite could lead a thirty-minute program of the news of the day and close it with "that's the way it is". We could go to bed, assured everything was alright. They'd covered everything of importance and there was nothing lurking out to worry about.

While we no longer have to rely upon the judgment of a few celebrity journalists channeled what they believed we needed to know, we now face questions about the fairness and accuracy of news media, both traditional and new media outlets. The likes of Cronkite prided themselves on their integrity and if it was presented, it had been vetted thoroughly before it hit the news. It's hard to find similar standards among many who present news and opinions.

Regardless of where news media is headed in the future, Walter Cronkite's ability to embody respectability and integrity in the field of journalism made him a truly great American. He will be missed.

And that's the way it is.

2 Response to "Walter Cronkite"

  1. mg 19/7/09 13:08
    He was respected as much in Europe as the USA
  2. Anonymous 25/7/09 19:29
    Earl--just a late lsat thought on Walter Cronkite; I grew up in the 60's and 70's and it was the even delivery, the calm of his voice that we needed in a time of crisis. Through the deaths of JFK, RFK, MLK he helped to know there would be a tomorrow. Through the crisis of Vietnam,Watergate,and the Iran hostage crisis he was a steadying hand at 6:30 when the rest of the world seemed ready to spin off its axis.
    He was the embodiment of joy,energy and pride when we went to the moon and the bi-cenntial of 1976.
    Now when newspeople of all kinds try to be more celeberty than newperson; he never forgot why he was there and that is why we watched. It earned him a moniker that it seemed to carry with honor-"Uncle Walter".
    We may never see another like Walter Cronkite but for those of us old enough to remember we are better for it.

    And that's the way it...teg

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