90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Walter Cronkite and TV News
CBS-TV newsman Walter Cronkite is seen at work in 1977. (AP)

CBS-TV newsman Walter Cronkite is seen at work in 1977. (AP)

For almost twenty years at the height of the American Century, from 1962 to 1981, the news came from Walter Cronkite.

He was the nightly CBS anchor. And he was more than that. In a time when Americans got their news — collectively, almost communally — from the Big Three television networks, Cronkite could seem like the plain-spoken voice of God. His simple “that’s the way it is” had Olympian authority.

Now he’s gone, and an age seems gone with him. JFK. Vietnam. Man on the moon. And the news as we knew it.

This hour, On Point: Walter Cronkite and televison news, then and now.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Joining us from College Park, Maryland, is Lee Thornton, professor of broadcast journalism at the University Maryland. She worked for CBS for a decade, until 1982, and began in New York working in the newsroom with Walter Cronkite. She then moved to the Washington Bureau, where she covered Jimmy Carter as White House correspondent.

From Baltimore, we’re joined by David Zurawik, television and media critic for the Baltimore Sun, where he writes the blog “Z on TV.” His Cronkite obituary ran on Saturday, and he’s blogged about the response to Cronkite’s death here and here.

From Ossining, New York, we’re joined by Peter Boyer, staff writer at The New Yorker and author of “Who Killed CBS? The Undoing of America’s Number One News Network.” In June last year, he wrote about Keith Olbermann and how TV news is changing.

And from Hanover, N.H., is Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

 
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Two: Why Is Election Day On A Tuesday?
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

The Explicast is back for another round. This time, we’re looking at Election Day, and why we all keep voting on a random Tuesday in early November.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 24, 2014
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

On comments, comment sections, and ROY G BIV.

More »
Comment
 
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
3 Comments