Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism

 The turning point of the field of broadcast journalism was attributed to no one but Edward R. Murrow who, ironically, has no background of the profession but whose innovations opened doors and paved the way for the industry’s present prominence. This premise proved that one’s contributions and eventual success are not measured by his or her credentials or circumstances but definitely based on the significance of the work a person has performed and ultimately how the efforts affected people and the society in general.

The said condition was how NPR’s Morning Edition host Bob Edwards successfully exemplified and analyzed the character of Murrow in the book “Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism (Turning Points in History). ” Noting the relevance of broadcast journalism in today’s modern world, Edwards became effective in his approach in evaluating the life and contributions of Murrow according to the nature of the latter’s character as well as his principles and endeavors which made the broadcast field successful.

Set at the early years of Murrow’s broadcast career which started in 1935 and at the backdrops of the Nazi regime and World War III, the Edwards book made the public realize the exciting, fearless, meticulous, in-depth but generally composed personality of the “See It Now” television show host. From the title itself of the book as well as its clear portrayal of Murrow, Edwards proudly imparted that the improvement, success and influence of the contemporary broadcast journalism was absolutely a product of the work caliber and individuality of the radio and television icon.

As such, the protagonist of the Edwards book perfectly exuded a picture of both excellence and calmness when his innovations resulted in the turning point of broadcast journalism. Hence, in the light of clear character analysis of the Edwards book, the words of Murrow clearly manifested how he wanted himself and the field of broadcast journalism to be realized. Edwards quoted Murrow as saying “I began to breathe and to reflect again—that all men would be brave if only they could leave their stomachs at home” (Edwards 74).

Another form of character analysis that affirmed the kind of personality, quality of work and significant influence made to broadcast media profession by Murrow was through the interview made by Jones to Edwards. The “Edward Murrow” book is efficiently perceived through how Edwards viewed Murrow. Jones then confirmed from the interview he made with the author that without Murrow, broadcast journalism will never be the same as it is now (Jones).

It was also in an online broadcast by the National Public Radio or NPR and where Edwards’ show is broadcasted that Murrow was regarded as a history himself. Murrow’s spectacular rooftop live broadcast of the London Blitz provided fresh approach and unique style of broadcast journalism. As presented by Edwards in his book, it was Murrow’s innate character and professional supremacy that brought new information or news reports and made broadcast journalism as a field of enormous power and undisputed impact to people and societies (“Edward R.

Murrow: Broadcasting History”). Apart from his innovative wartime broadcasts that catapult him to fame and respect, it was Murrow’s personal and professional principles that made him incomparable from the rest. Hence, it was the statement by Edwards during the Jones interview that ideally depicted the character and value and most importantly, the influence of Murrow to broadcast journalism.

As Edwards said: “I say he (Murrow) set the standard, but it’s probably closer to say he set the ideal and we can’t have the (same) ideal anymore” (Jones).

Works Cited

  1. “Edward R. Murrow: Broadcasting History. ” Morning Edition. National Public Radio. 6 May 2004.
  2. Edwards, Bob. Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism (Turning Points in History). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2004).
  3. Jones, Michelle. “NPR’s Bob Edwards on Edward R. Murrow. ” Interview to Bob Edwards. 2004.

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