Editorial: The day the news died

Published 8:45 am Monday, July 20, 2009

Walter Cronkite died on Friday July 17, 2009. This date should be known as the day news died. Growing up with Walter Cronkite, generations of us had a compass, a heart — a trusted voice amid the battles that took place in our world. Starting with the John F. Kennedy assassination and through the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Vietnam and Watergate, Walter Cronkite was who we turned to for assurance.

In this age of blogs, Internet, social networking and large media being the story and not the reporter, news is disassembled and assembled in a way Walter Cronkite would be very wary of.

CNN, FOX, CNBC, as well as hundreds of other cable new networks scramble every day to try to get a news bite or a scandal on TV for the ratings. The ratings have turned into the guide and not the truth.

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Walter Cronkite was the facts. He was the background of a story. He was the objectivity, fairness, and cool hand in an unfair world.

Try naming three TV news journalists you trust. Try naming three of any media journalists you trust. We are in a world where we have steps we take to follow news.

First, we hear about the news from a source — it could be the Internet, a cell phone, a blog, a friend. We then scramble to the newsstand, TV, or radio to try to confirm if what we heard is true. Then we go back to follow the story as it unfolds.

We do not trust any one source anymore, we need many.

In the days of Walter Cronkite, we turned to just one source — Walter Cronkite. We knew that Mr. Cronkite would give it to us straight. We knew that Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and the like would not be on his broadcast.

Walter Cronkite never let us down. He was our dad, our grandfather and our friend, who always gave the correct advice. He was a mentor to millions of journalists.

Walter Cronkite. There will never be another. Yes sir, Mr. Cronkite, you will be missed.