Edward Roscoe Murrow, born Egbert Roscoe Murrow on April 25, 1908, in Greensboro, North Carolina, was an outstanding radio and television broadcaster. He was working for CBS’s European Bureau and was known for his accurate and persuasive reports from Europe during World War II (Edward R. Murrow | American journalist, 2020). His coverage of the critical battles has made him famous in his home country and started a new era for radio journalism. Having returned from the war, Murrow continued to work for CBS as vice president in charge of news, education, and discussion programs (Edward R. Murrow | American journalist, 2020). He produced a radio news program called Hear it Now, then debuted its TV adaptation – See it Now.
Edward Murrow has always been a defender of truth, which was especially significant in the 1950s. The cold war has just begun, and people’s minds were susceptible to fear. It was not uncommon for politicians and other public figures to attempt to take advantage of the situation. In 1945, Murrow covered Senator Joseph McCarthy in a special episode of See it now. In the report, Murrow heavily criticized McCarty’s massive contribution to the Red Scare. He pointed out the politician’s contradicting statements and accused him of fearmongering. When offered the chance to address the criticism publicly, McCarty, who previously endorsed Murrow’s honest and direct reporting, has denied every one of his claims. This weak response led to the acceleration of McCarthy’s downfall, as his popularity only began to decline more rapidly.
Murrow should be commended for his bravery in exposing the Senator. He has done a service to his fellow citizens, by protecting them from McCarthy’s deception and misinformation. Even though the network refused to support his endeavor, he used his finances to fund the advertising campaign for the controversial episode. Furthermore, CBS did not even allow Murrow to use its logo – a clear sign that the station was unsure about the idea, if not opposed to it. Starting a conflict with one of the largest TV broadcasting corporations in the US is certainly not something every presenter would do, as it entails severe risks for that person’s career prospects.
However, Murrow was not the type of person who would abandon his principle for the sake of being safe. He has continued to work in his uncompromising manner for as long as he could. Unsurprisingly, this resulted in constant disagreements between Murrow and his boss Paley. After the famous McCarty episode, See it Now only saw popularity when it covered a controversial topic. However, this meant that the studio had to give the subjects of the program equal time to respond to the accusation. This arrangement was inconvenient for the studio, and Murrow was not fond of it either. In the summer of 1958, he argued about this issue with Paley, threatening to quit unless the problem was resolved. Paley was not willing to compromise either and See it Now was discontinued. Murrow’s career might have ended at that point, but he would never lose the title of the patron saint of broadcast journalism.
Edward R. Murrow | American journalist. (2020). Britannica. Web.
Ricky Gervais. (2020). Britannica. Web.
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