Since the beginning of broadcast journalism, there has been one person credited with revolutionizing the field. This was Edward R. Murrow, also known as Mr. Television. Murrow set the highest standard for the reporting of news on radio and television. He broadcast stories that other journalists of the time would not even touch for fear of blacklisting. His facts were solid, his scope thorough, his analysis on target, and his principles uncompromised (Edwards 7). He was also fearless when it came to challenging leaders who he felt were abusing their power, including Senator Joseph McCarthy. Murrow ushered in the modern age of reporting by basically creating the radio and television journalism medium and by openly using these mediums to challenge the views and principles of powerful politicians.
Broadcast journalism is defined as, “a field of news and journals which are ‘broadcast’, that is, published by electrical methods, instead of the older methods, such as printed newspapers and posters,” (“Broadcast Journalism”). Edward R. Murrow was one of the first true broadcast journalists. Although newspapers and journalists had been around for quite some time, radio and television were relatively new fields of technology, and a new way of presenting the news had to be adapted. Murrow’s first experience with broadcast journalism came to be when he started reporting from England during World War II. Although the radio was certainly not new when Murrow began reporting from it, it was the first time it was used as a substantial news source (Bernstein). Before this time, average citizens mainly tuned in to hear the headlines or to listen to nightly entertaining radio shows as it provided an escape from the bleakness of the Great Depression (Bernstein). However, once foreign coverage during the war started, broadcast journalism quickly grew because of the speed at which stories could be obtained and reported (“Journalism”).
Murrow is also to thank for creating the format in which news is presented on both television and radio. As a only a true pioneer could, he hand-picked a team of men to be foreign correspondents alongside him and trained them on how to present live radio stories. Those who were known as “Murrow Boys” were taught his unique way of reporting foreign news for radio which was to say, “what is happening, how does it relate to the American, how does the common man feel,” (Cozma 669). In fact, the format of a broadcaster from “New York (or the area of origin of the radio station) pitching to reporters live in other locations is a format still widely used today,” (Cozma 668). It is clear that Murrow was not just the best, but he was also the original.
After the war, Murrow continued to utilize the radio as his main medium of reporting. He began to utilize is reporting skills to create radio documentaries and soon even had his own weekly radio show Hear It Now. However as the prominence of television soon began to arise, Murrow started...