He was an American broadcast journalist who gained prominence on the radio during WWII. His broadcasts were listened to by millions. He became director of talks for CBS in 1935. In 1951, he started a televison journalism program called, SEE IT NOW. He helped expose Senator Joe McCarty and he left broadcasting in 1961. You can see a short video about him here:http://www.biography.com/people/edward-r-murrow-9419104
In 1958, Murrow delivered a famous speech, “wires and lights in a box”, before the Radio and Television Digital News Association. (RTDNA) If you are interested, you can listen to the entire speech here:
I am just going to cull a few quotes and share them here: “Sometimes there is a clash between the public interest and the corporate interest. A telephone call or a letter from a proper quarter in Washington is treated rather more seriously than a communication from an irate but not politically potent viewer.” True today, I think, don’t you?
Another good quote: “I am frightened by the imbalance, the constant striving to reach the largest possible audience for everything; by the absence of a sustained study of the state of the nation. Heywood Broun once said, “No body politic is healthy until it begins to itch.” I would like television to produce some itching pills rather than this endless outpouring of tranquilizers.” Again, this may be an even more compelling truth today.
I like this one because it shows Murrow had faith in the consumer: “I am entirely persuaded that the American public is more reasonable, restrained and more mature than most of our industry’s program planners believe. Their fear of controversy is not warranted by the evidence. I have reason to know, as do many of you, that when the evidence on a controversial subject is fairly and calmly presented, the public recognizes it for what it is–an effort to illuminate rather than to agitate.”
All of this is leading to the main point of the post. The RTDNA has a code of ethics. Link:http://www.rtdna.org/content/rtdna_code_of_ethics#.VNez1vnF-So
And it has a set of guidelines for how media should handle things such as: breaking news, hostage situations, bomb threats, respecting privacy, and much more. Link:http://www.rtdna.org/content/coverage_guidelines#.VNe0QfnF-So
Perhaps, it would behoove the consumer of digital information to read up on these codes and guidelines and then we can communicate in an informed manner when we see or hear broadcasters violate them.
Pat Taylor Fuller has a blogspot named Pat’s Commentary http://pageposts1123.blogspot.com/