Growing up in the UK in the 70s and 80s, one sometimes heard mention of Cronkite.
A word synonymous with the news, rather than a person who read it. It sounded like a fantastic material – an element, unbendable and unbreakable that history was made of; over there in the wonderland of Shuttles and Star Wars.
Via the excellent Hypergene Mediablog, come some choice chunks of pure Cronkite, shaped into commentary about erstwhile colleague and essayist Eric Sevareid and news media past:
Rules of an essayist
Sevareid speaking in his farewell essay, shared his self-imposed rules of journalism that guided his essays:
- Not to underestimate the intelligence of the audience, and not to over estimate it’s information.
- To elucidate when one can, more than to advocate.
- To retain the courage of one’s doubts, as well as one’s convictions, in this world of dangerously passionate certainties.
- To comfort oneself in times of error, with the knowledge that the saving grace of the press, print or broadcast is it’s self-correcting nature.
“…when society values the impulsive spoken outburst, over the reasoned elegance of the written word, the implications for an informed citizenry are dire.”