Friday, February 27, 2009

I don't have anything profound to say about my experience with "Good Night and Good Luck," but I did enjoy it while gleaning some valuable lessons from it. It was my first time seeing the movie and I feel that it is one of the quintessential films that all journalisms students should see.

As the film progressed and introduced us to Murrow, my first thought was, who are the Murrows of today? Who are the trailblazers who question ideas and who are brave enough to bring new ones to the "marketplace of ideas?" They are here, but they are hard to find sometimes, amidst the chaos of celebrity "news" and other mindless fodder. I also wonder about the people who watched Murrow back in his day-- I wonder what they think of broadcast journalism now. Do they think it is legitimate? Or will they always hail Murrow as the greatest- the irreplaceable purveyor of responsible T.V. news?

Indeed, Murrow was a pioneer. He will undoubtedly always be heralded in the journalism field for being courageous enough to bring the truth about McCarthyism to the public. He simply stood up for the truth. The CBS bigwigs chided him for being biased, people questioned his background (i.e. accused him of Commie affiliations), but he was stalwart and sought to relay the full story to the public. Senator McCarthy held a lot of influence on a fearful public, but Murrow didn't flinch. He seemed confident, unyielding, and stoic, yet humble enough-- even enough to get his show pushed to the unfavorable Sunday afternoon timeslot.

I can see why he was seen as biased by his CBS superiors-- he wasn't pushing the mainstream "safe" agenda. It was frightening and shocking to them. He seemed so adamant about opening up the other side of McCarthyism to the public, that yes, my first uninformed impression of him detected the possibility of bias. But it was a fleeting thought. When one considers that he was simply reporting the full issue- the side of McCarthy that had never been exposed- he was simply doing his job as a pursuant of truth. And that's all we really want to do as journalists, right?

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