When journalists are considered in popular culture, the names that most often spring to mind are from broadcast, especially over the past few decades. From early stalwarts of the medium, like Edward R. Murrow, to reporters such as Barbara Walters or Diane Sawyer, whose exclusive interviews are among some of the most watched pieces of journalism, it seems that broadcast is more likely than print to generate celebrity status. And at the head of this journalism hierarchy is arguably the network news anchor, a role that began in earnest with Walter Cronkite in the 1960s and reached its zenith with the ‘big three’ anchors of Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather and Peter Jennings who were the faces of network news for most of the 1980s and 90s. The anchor, it has been argued, occupies, ‘a strange position in the American scheme of status. Not quite movie stars, not quite officialdom, they are more famous than most movie stars and more powerful than most politicians’. However, in the 21st century, more-and-more genres of broadcast journalism seem to be ‘trusted’ sources of news and a diverse range of voices and formats are influential. Accordingly, this chapter examines to what extent network evening newscasts are changing as they adapt to this tumultuous journalism landscape. Specifically, it compares one of the bastions of broadcast journalism, the CBS Evening News, under what appears to be two vastly different stewardships – that of Walter Cronkite and that of Katie Couric. By counterpoising CBS Evening News under Cronkite with the same broadcast under Couric a few decades later, one gets a better sense whether this journalism mainstay has indeed begun to incorporate elements associated with its ‘softer’ counterparts, and if so, to what extent.
|Title of host publication||Retelling Journalism : Conveying Stories in a Digital Age.|
|Editors||Marcel Broersma, Chris Peters|
|Number of pages||28|
|Place of Publication||Leuven - Paris - Walpole, MA|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|