Walter Cronkite and the way it isn’t anymore
July 18th, 2009

There is a New York Times Media Decoder story today that I recommend to readers who remember the heyday of Walter Cronkite. The story captures how very much times have changed: from one trusted voice to crowd reporting and, I think and I cheer, media inoculated with wisdom of the crowd. The Media Decoder begins:

Sean McManus, the president of CBS News, learned of Walter Cronkite’s death while he was at the dinner table on Friday evening, sharing a meal with his two children, ages 8 and 10.

After taking the phone call, he tried to explain to his children — who have grown up bombarded with news and information — the value of Mr. Cronkite’s once-a-day news updates.

“There probably will never be anybody who has the presence and the stature and the importance that Walter Cronkite had in this country,” Mr. McManus said in a telephone interview, recalling what he told his children.

“I tried to explain to them that most people in America expected to get both good and bad news from one man, and that was Walter Cronkite,” he said. “That will never be duplicated again,” because of the fragmentation of the media. . . .

Image from New York Times Video

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