I keep seeing these references to the “good old days” of journalism, when TV news anchors — Walter Cronkite is the one most commonly referenced — would “read the news” with an “agenda.”
Well, allow me this brief retort. Those “good old days” need not be dredged up and remembered with overdue, overstated and overinflated reverence.
There still is plenty of good broadcast journalism, along with print journalism, being practiced.
Many of my friends and former colleagues know that to be true. Some of them, though, lapse into that hyper-sentimentalism in which they recall how it used to be.
I admit these days to watching a lot of broadcast and cable news. The broadcast news still is presented by individuals who do so with professionalism and without the “agenda” that so many accuse the media of presenting.
The three major commercial broadcast networks continue to feature individuals who follow the Cronkite model brought up so often these days; I also will include PBS, the public TV network, as well among the organizations that present news without favor toward one side or the other.
The far right — led by the most recent ex-president — have poisoned the debate. Donald Trump has labeled the media the “enemy of the people” and the purveyors of “fake news.” Sadly and tragically, too many Americans swallowed that rhetorical snake oil. I know that cable news has produced a ton of right- and left-wing commentators and “contributors.”
However, I am going to stand with my brothers and sisters in the media and will continue to salute them for the work they do to tell the stories of our communities and our world.