Edward R. Murrow Lessons Important To Remember Today

Edward R. Murrow
Edward R. Murrow (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Edward R Murrow was an American journalist who covered stories ranging from World War II to McCarthyism.

Needless to say, he is a personal hero of mine.

During this age of constant 24-hour coverage and an abundance of fake news spreading through social media- it is important to remember the purpose of news.

It is the fourth estate- the unmarked additional branch of the U.S. Government meant to balance and check the other three. To hold elected officials accountable by making sure the public knows what their representatives decide.

I heard someone say recently, “If major media would just stop broadcasting for 30 days- almost all of the country’s issues would go away.”

It is sad to think this is what some view the media as: a trouble-maker.

It is not the news’s job to help its viewers find comfort in the happenings from those in charge, nor is it their job to voice their opinion. This a trait I feel we, in the media, have forgotten.

It is not the news’s job to push an agenda- nor is it their job to push an agenda especially for profit.

The news has one job. To inform.

What the viewers do with that information, how they feel about it, what parts they do or do not care about is not up to the media.

And look, I can admit, it is dangerous to look back on the men of news before and watch a bulletin on the German front lines with rose-colored glasses.

But as we handle our lives today, it may be noteworthy to hear advice from the past.

So, here below, are 10 quotes from my favorite journalist that I think are just as relevant today as when they were when first uttered:

· “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.”

· “Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions.”

· “Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices — just recognize them.”

· “No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.”

· “A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”

· “Anyone who isn’t confused really doesn’t understand the situation.”

· “The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.”

· “The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.”

· “Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.”

· “Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.”

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