Cover image for Edward R. Murrow and the birth of broadcast journalism
Edward R. Murrow and the birth of broadcast journalism
Edwards, Bob, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley, [2004]

Physical Description:
xiii, 174 pages ; 21 cm.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN4874.M89 E38 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
PN4874.M89 E38 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Get it, read it, and pass it on.
-- Bill Moyers

""Most Americans living today never heard Ed Murrow in a live broadcast. This book is for them I want them to know that broadcast journalism was established by someone with the highest standards. Tabloid crime stories, so much a part of the lust for ratings by today's news broadcasters, held no interest for Murrow. He did like Hollywood celebrities, but interviewed them for his entertainment programs; they had no place on his news programs. My book is focused on this life in journalism. I offer it in the hope that more people in and out of the news business will get to know Ed Murrow. Perhaps in time the descent from Murrow's principles can be reversed.""
-- Bob Edwards

Author Notes

Bob Edwards has hosted NPR's Morning Edition, the most popular program in all broadcast media, since its premiere in November 1979

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Edwards, former host of NPR's Morning Edi0 tion, brings perspective and knowledge to this memoir of radio and television legend Edward R. Murrow. The author chronicles Murrow's innovations in radio and television broadcasting, including live radio reports of the war in progress in Europe in 1940; exposure of the despotism of Senator Joseph McCarthy on CBS in 1953; the powerful television documentary Harvest of Shame0 on the deplorable conditions of migrant workers in the U.S.; and the first in-depth television news program, See It Now0 . Drawing on actual broadcasts and conversations with Murrow's colleagues, including Edward Bliss Jr., who wrote for Murrow at CBS and was later the first editor of The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite0 , Edwards brings to life the early days of radio and television and the innovations that Murrow sparked. In the afterword, Edwards analyzes the decline in broadcast news since Murrow's pioneering days. Readers interested in journalism will enjoy this slim book. --Vanessa Bush Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Edwards, who has hosted NPR's Morning Edition since 1979 (though he's just announced his retirement from that post, as of April 30 of this year), examines the charismatic career and pioneering efforts of renowned newsman Murrow for Wiley's Turning Points series. Murrow's broadcasting innovations were indeed significant turning points. Joining CBS in 1935, when radio news usually focused on such preplanned events as parades and flower shows, Murrow ran the network's European Bureau by 1937 and became a celebrity in 1940 with his stunning rooftop broadcasts of the London Blitz: "Listeners in comfortable living rooms all across the United States were hearing Britons being bombed in real time." Creating a cadre of WWII correspondents, Murrow flew on 25 combat missions, delivering dramatic reports on everything from the "orchestrated hell" of Berlin to the liberation of Buchenwald's "living dead." Mainly remembered for its famed 1954 attack on Joseph McCarthy, Morrow's groundbreaking TV show See It Now (1951-1958) put field producers on location, offering live remotes, split screens, original film footage and unrehearsed interviews at a time other TV news featured only a reading of headlines. Edwards delineates a brief but striking portrait of a "driven man," a fearless fighter who set such a high standard for himself and others that he became a legend, leaving a lasting impact in newsrooms even after his death in 1965. The book includes excerpts from memorable Murrow broadcasts throughout. (May 7) Forecast: With more than 10 Turning Points titles now in print, readers may begin to spot this series by its distinctive, standardized cover design. This one is sure to benefit from Edwards's 14-city author tour. Other forthcoming titles in the series include Sir Martin Gilbert on D-Day. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Host of NPR's Morning Edition and author of Fridays with Red: A Radio Friendship, Edwards paints a colorful portrait of pioneer broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow. An idealistic educator, Murrow started reporting for the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) during the late 1930s and was assigned to Europe. Along with other foreign correspondents, he established the groundbreaking concept of providing nightly news "roundups" to the listeners back home in America. Long before CNN and embedded journalists existed, Murrow was determined to let his audience experience the events of World War II as they unfolded, as when he joined the Royal Air Force on a mission to drop bombs on Berlin. By including excerpts from transcripts of Murrow's reports, the author lets Murrow speak for himself, giving the reader a sense of his insightfulness and his gift for words. As Edwards emphasizes throughout the book, Murrow continued his crusade to provide quality educational material to the public even when he moved over to television. On the whole, this succinct and concise biography, as part of the publisher's "Turning Points" series of short works about famous people and events, offers an introduction to Murrow's fascinating career and to the history of broadcast journalism. Suitable for all libraries, especially for high school media centers. Donna Marie Smith, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Precisely focused, this addition to Wiley's "Turning Points" series adds significant information to existing literature about the man who pioneered broadcast news. Edwards selects details that illuminate Murrow's unique place in radio and television as an innovator who understood the power of real-time broadcasts. Murrow was 27 when he joined CBS in 1935; two years later he was assigned to London, and in 1940 he gave his first rooftop broadcast of Nazi bombings of London, launching a program that informed Americans and helped sway them away from isolationism. In company with other talented CBS foreign correspondents, he instituted the roundup format, with its multiple points of origin and instant analysis. In the postwar Red scare, Murrow upheld Bill of Rights guarantees for people accused of communist ties, and his 1954 See It Now television show helped bring down Senator McCarthy. Edwards portrays Murrow as a fearless visionary and solidifies his reputation as an innovative, informed, and ethical journalist who established standards in broadcasting that made him a role model for contemporaries and for those who followed in the profession. The inclusion of texts from key broadcasts enriches this book. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels. L. Loomis SUNY Oswego

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
1. Rootsp. 11
2. Higher Edp. 19
3. Anschlussp. 29
4. The Blitzp. 43
5. Over Berlinp. 61
6. Buchenwaldp. 79
7. Transitionp. 93
8. McCarthyp. 105
9. See It Notp. 125
10. USIAp. 145
Afterwordp. 153
Bibliographyp. 167
Indexp. 169