A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce, or a tragedy, or perhaps both.
-- James Madison
You spoke a lot about courage and what it means to have courage. I want this to be the topic of my paper. I want to discuss the difference between having courage, but staying within the limits of your job. As you stated, these are hired journalists. So where does courage stop and disrespect start? I also want to touch on the difference between Murrow’s courage and McCarthy’s courage and why one form was better than another. Like how Murrow had courage, but the courage to speak out against the people who are striving to lead the nation vs. McCarthy, who was having the courage to speak about what he believed to be “right.” Courage can be taken in many directions, but I think it can be an effective subject to discuss. I also think it ties into and applies to many other areas. Was Murrow’s bravery reputable when his story was preceded by an aluminum ad? How does this tie into present day journalism: are journalists considered courageous anymore? Why or why not? I would like to touch on these areas and shed light on some of the issues that courage leads to. The courage to stand up to your boss vs. the courage to stand up to a senator.
I'd like to write about Murrow as a symbol of the Fourth Estate and one of the few remaining ethical journalists that resisted the superficiality that the switch to televised news required of him. Fist he was forced (as his body language/the movie's cinematic imagery suggested) to cover more entertainment and less hard hitting news (like Liberace's potential girlfriends - hilarious). Then, he and Friendly took on both Radulovich's wrongful discharge and Sen. McCarthy victimization of innocent people in the wake of the second Red Scare in a serious show of journalistic prowess, which spoke volumes about what he considered journalism's role in society. Those two stories (particularly the latter) earned him enough credence to speak out at the 1958 gala held in his honor. That he used his finally respected voice to tell the audience that "..unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us"....then we would end up exactly where we are today only proved his beliefs in promoting the highest journalistic standard. I'd conclude that Murrow just isn't a realistic possibility today, at least on television. There's great entertainment value in demonizing celebrities, especially celebrity journalists. I feel he'd never have the opportunity to fight through the criticism and he'd either end up like Sen. McCarthy by the end of Murrow's series of reports or Hollenbeck - an enemy of the public without hope of redemption or dead.
I believe a good topic for my paper would be the integrity and responsibility of news during this time era, and how Edward R Murrow successful used these tools too reshape an era in America. The integrity and responsibility of the news is always something that we question as a society. There has been drastic differences made to this medium from Edward Murrow's time, to now. I don't believe anyone else in the journalistic field had been trusted and embraced as much as Edward Murrow during the Red Scare. Even in today's news no reporter follows the legacy that Edward Murrow left behind. Perhaps this was the last era in which news was used as a tool of information rather than constant entertainment.
For my final paper, I would like to discuss how TV operates, television news in history, compare it to present day television, and how both can influence society in positive and negative ways during both eras. In Good Night and Good Luck, CBS was a television news program that was used to inform the public in a way that was appealing. Murrow and Friendly’s program ultimately transformed the program into a “visual phenomenon,” as said by Streitmatter, thanks to the emergence of the new electronic medium. This program was able to captivate the minds of listeners everywhere with unique reporting tactics, which enabled Murrow to become the most trusted voice during that time.I will also mention how TV can be both contradictory and complementary since it is used to both inform and advertise. In the film, television was used to display countless commercials, which functions today in both similar and contrasting ways. It seems as though news programs strive to startle their viewers more than to instruct them, which is alarming in that it negatively impacts the way we receive and understand news. Although Murrow says that TV is being used to “distract, dilute, and insulate,” Streitmatter mentions that television was successful since it brought live coverage of war and graphic images into people’s homes, which makes TV complementary.
As you brought up in the end of class I’d like to explore the idea of Murrow being possible today. Personally I don’t think that he is even close to being a possibility today. A journalist that is not afraid of the backlash from a story he covers and embraces it. I thought it was ironic that Jeff Daniels starred in this movie, as he is currently the news anchor on HBO’s Newsroom. For those of you that don’t know the show follows a news team that faces a laundry list of corporate issues, which is something they don’t see as their issue. They work to combat the news being entertainment that we have discussed in class is all “news” is in todays world. I think that the fact that this show exists and they demonstrate covering stories without all the corporate bullshit says it all. I feel that if this show is entertainment for people today how can Murrow exist. This journalist that is not in his position to gain celebrity or to even report on whatever stupid thing a celebrity has done the day before. If a journalist like Murrow existed today he would receive a lot of heat for what he was doing and I’m just not sure there is someone out there that would be able to handle all red tape and the criticism that would come with it. This stems from the fact that society doesn’t views news as what it was created for anymore. News programs no longer have any responsibility towards society, they exist to entertain and news outlets have taken that reality and ran with it as opposed to fighting against it.
For the topic of my final paper I would like to focus on modern day news and how it is portrayed within the media; particularly on television. Television news has made a huge digression within our culture and now has become an entertaining spectacle instead of an outlet people can rely and trust upon. I believe informational programs like Murrows's See It Now don't really exist today and I would like to explore the importance of the stories featured on modern day TV news programs. In Good Night, and Good Luck, William Paley, the chief executive of CBS decides that he will cut Murrow's program because he is afraid of how the American people are receiving it. This is true in today's society and we often see silly news programs that showcase attractive news anchors instead of focusing on hard hitting informational news.
For my final paper I have two ideas for what I would like to write about. My first theme would be if Murrow could exist today. I would like to argue why he would not be able to exist in this time period. In addition, I would include the media and how it is presented to us today. Also, how people watch the news today as opposed to back then. Would anybody actually watch a program like the one Murrow does? And if so, would our generation even understand his poetic language? Is there a target audience that would be large enough to support this form of news? And finally, would we be more informed? My other idea came from speaking to my grandmother about how she found out about McCarthyism. I would like to write about how in the 1950s, there were only the few television broadcasts and the newspapers. There was no Internet for individuals to further research the news. All they had was the paper they read, or a short broadcast. My question is, which generation is more informed and why. Currently, we can further question what we see on the news through the Internet. We can publish our opinions, read others, and find out details. Does this access allow for more free thoughts and personal opinions? Or are we still just digging through stupid entertainment even on the Internet? In addition, are we more informed this way? Or was the short broadcast such as Murrow’s more informative, making the additional research less important. Or were people’s opinions swayed by what they heard or read because of the fewer resources available to them? This idea is interesting to me because I want to explore which generation was better off.I know I need to narrow it down but these are the two ideas I have so far.
For my paper, I would like to focus on past and present news, particularly in television, and how it is portrayed in society as well as how it influences society. Murrow was one of the most relied on journalists of his time and had great influence over society's knowledge of important issues that were going on. I cannot think of a journalist that has as much power over influence today as Murrow did in his time. Television today can be seen as a negative influence over society at times, especially because of the "entertainment news" factor that we always discuss. News outlets today are aired primarily to keep our attention as opposed to giving us trustworthy, solid facts about issues and current events. I will explore the importance and vitality of news in Murrow's era versus today. Back then, there were only a few news programs for people to get their important information, while today there are many different news channels as well as phones and Internet to check news as well. I am curious as to which time period has the advantage, Murrow's era with few news outlets and high reliability or present day with many news outlets and lower reliability?
For my final paper I wanted to discuss journalistic integrity and respect, and perhaps the decline of that. Every news organization is now based around the celebrity and silly things that famous people do. Murrow however only did his celebrity segment to keep CBS happy and looked down upon it as perhaps a waste of his time, and definitely not as important or newsworthy as other subjects. I want to compare the differences between the integrity portrayed in Good Night, And Good Luck and what we see from famous/television journalist now. Murrow is a symbol of what all journalist should be, someone who seeks and reports the truth. Murrow and his team fact checked things and produced educational programming that taught people about the issues of the world. However, like Murrow says in his speech our society does not like things that aren't pleasant. I'll look at how this dislike has changed what journalist discuss.
The focus of my essay for Good Night, and Good Luck is going to be about the efficiency and limits of personal courage. To be a reporter you have to have a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe in. Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly had to have a lot of courage to stand up to McCarthy. Even though they were loyal Americans they didn't agree with the way McCarthy was acting. He was basically just being a bully. Murrow knew when he did his program and McCarthy would argue back, Murrow was going to get picked on and basically called a communist. Murrow wasn't afraid and in the end because of the courage that Murrow and Friendly it leaded to McCarthy being trialed. This subject is important to me because it shows that with the sacrifices that Murrow and Friendly made (having to pay for the ad space) they were able to do the right thing. They knew they were going to be persecuted by McCarthy and they still did it. This is something you don't really see on the news anymore which is why I find this to be important.
For my final paper, I'm at a toss up between two topics. While watching Good Night and Good Luck, I was noticing how Murrow was portrayed as a pioneer for bringing informative television to the masses. In the first scene of the film, He is receiving a reward for excellence in television. However, he takes the opportunity to set forth his views of the growing trends in television. This speech reminded me a lot of what we read of Postman at the beginning of the semester. Murrow was playing Nostradamus as he said that if these methods keep continuing, television would be nothing but "escapism." The one of the main points of Postman's book is viewing the trends of television as a large distraction of more important issues. If I were to choose to write about this essay, I would focus it on how Murrow faces these "distractions." Whether it be with his interview with Liberace or him having his show time moved for more appealing and entertaining product. I would make references to both Postman and Streitmatter, in order to justify Murrow's reasoning for think this way and the results of his predictions. Either that option or I would make a compare and contrast of how McCarthyism is represented in both Streitmatter and in the film. This essay would heavily rely on the written material but also a subjective analysis of the film. It would focus on the characters were represented, why certain scenes were used, and why the film was shot the way it was. This essay may need some outside sources as Streimatter may not be enough. But those are the two papers I'm deciding between.
For my final paper, I really want to discuss the differences between CBS during Murrow’s time to now. In all of the books that we have read, there has been a central theme of how America has changed from wanting to know facts to not caring unless they are amused. I think that this is such a fascinating topic and a very controversial topic in today’s media field. I am not a journalism student but a production major, and in a lot of my classes, we are asked to produce videos and content that is amusing to people, yet it doesn’t have to be informative. After taking this class, I have really tried to make all of my content and projects mean something, but you can see that people aren’t as amused as they would be if it were “more entertaining”. I have watched goodnight and goodluck many times in other classes and I honestly think of Murrow as a hero. He did his job and that was to inform the public about what was going on around them. He did not care what anyone thought and he put his job on the line to tell the TRUTH! Why are we missing that today? Why is today’s CBS news all about things that really don’t matter? Murrow’s show was a nightly show that thousands of people watched. What is on CBS at night now and how does it compare to Murrow’s show. I really think that Postman’s idea about amusing ourselves to death is coming to surface, and I think that a comparison between this movie and actually CBS news today can really prove his point.
For my paper I am going to write about if Murrow’s show would be able to exist in today’s world. I think it could exist, but it definitely wouldn’t have the same fame as it did in the ‘50s. This is because people today are just looking for short segments that focus on entertainment, rather than hard-hitting news that serves a purpose in society. Also, I think the show would have to be on the air during a late-night hour because parents wouldn’t want their children exposed to what Murrow was reporting on. I think Murrow would receive a lot of criticism today on blogs and Twitter. Social media would cause for people’s opinions of Murrow to be formed before they even have a chance to watch his show. Ultimately, I think it would do fairly well in a late-night timeslot because people would watch and be interested in interesting headline Murrow would make for that evening. The biggest question I have with it is would people be able to remain focused on what he’s saying because of how much they’d have to think about what it being said.
We spoke a lot about the history of journalist and basically everything they've done to get what they believe is the best news out there. With that being said, what I found interesting and would like to relate in my paper: is the difference between reporters like Murrow and reporters who think they are giving our the right news (whether it's truthful or not). I think because of the time difference it really isn't likely that Murrow would exist in our decade. Especially since you don't see reporters who want to speak the truth and update the public on whats actually important, but what you do see are robots. Robots who tell the same story and (if we are lucky) use different words. I want to also talk about how and why TV is not the same from when Murrow had his show to now. Especially relating it to Streitmatter and his perspective. It's important to me to stress this subject because you really don't see it on TV today. Like what are we really learning, besides violence, celebrity gossip and the weather? I also want to touch on how these days only on the internet do you see people posting their honest opinions on events and situations. It hasn't been like that on TV in a while. That's why seeing Murrow's character reminded me of how overtime we've lost that.
For my paper I think I am going to write about how news and media in general was once a source of great information but now is focused on entertainment and how quickly they can summarize things. I will compare to what is clearly shown in Good night and Good luck which that it is believed that people only want to be entertained and television operates for that purpose only but when Murrow starts giving real news and truthful broadcasts people are intrigued and want to watch. In Murrow's time it was believe that the general public would have no interest in serious news topics but that was proved wrong. This has since been forgotten and television is once again an instrument of pure entertainment. Looking at what is said in Mighter than the Sword and how the journalists and televisions were able to cause political changes and raise awareness among citizen I will examine how the news today operates. I will focus on big news stations, such as CNN and CBS, along with strictly entertainment news such as E! and Entertainment tonight.
The focus of my final paper will be about the shortcomings of media: in the film and today. media can be contradictory and uninformative. It is not focused on the important issues of our society. I plan to mention Edward R. Murrow in relation to this, and how he used his integrity and diligence to inform viewers and report about issues that were important. Also, I will include whether it is possible to have someone like him in news today, which i believe it is not, because it goes against the current culture of journalism in our society. There are vast differences between the journalism depicted in the film to the journalism we observe today. The courage Murrow and Friendly displayed in the film in standing out against McCarthy, whom was powerful and ultimately could of labeled them as communist, was admirable and necessary. They had a lot at stake if things would have not worked out in their favor, but they persevered. You would not see something of that nature being done today. I have not seen a news journalist speaking out against corruption and cruelty on a highly viewed media platform, nor those issues being addressed. Ethics is missing from the conversation about our media, what is ethical, truthful and acceptable. If the truth is missing from the masses, you have people like Joseph McCarthy walking around and accusing people of being communist among other injustices.
Through out this class we discussed the evolution of technology and thus the evolution of the way active journalism is conducted. As a massively powerful and revolutionary medium for broadcast, the television radically changed the journalism. We see in Good "Night and Good Luck" the bare essentials of television news. Simple camera angels, basic set and lighting, and honest straight forward journalism.I would like my paper to focus on the contrast between the broadcasts of Murrow in the 1950s to the modern News Show we see on the major 24-Hour News networks. I would like to also focus on what is so different today that there are no Murrow-types left (especially on the major networks). I would also like to illustrate how the radicalism of Sen. McCarthy could be similar to current criticisms of the NSA, and how true dishonesty and corruption could inspire journalists like Murrow, and whistle blowers like Snowden, to come forward and expose injustice as much as it may disadvantage them.
I would like to discuss the idea of Murrow existing today. It would not be possible for many reasons, but I would like to focus on censorship and the fact that Murrow would put himself in extreme danger had he done the things he did in today's world. This is interesting to me because I have always been very against most of the censorship in our society, particularly book-banning and the media feeding us portions of the truth to alter it into a more intriguing and attractive story. Additionally, everything is about money in today's world, and a reporter isn't willing to risk losing is or her job in order to do what he or she believes to be the right thing to do. I believe that it is important for the public to always know the whole truth, so this topic is important to me.
As we mentioned in class, I would like to do a different essay on a topic that I'm passionate about. I'd like to focus on the state of publishing in terms of big publishing houses versus small publishing houses versus independent publishing, and the different kinds of content each is able to produce. I'd also like to talk a little bit about the future of the book in terms of the new technology we see permeating every level of out social lives with particular focus on Postman. Sources will also include Publishers Weekly coverage on the London Book fair as well as an article about a publisher who quit to work for smaller time houses due to the freedom to publish authors without platforms.
The topic I would like to use for my paper is how the modern time journalism, especially on television, is used today. From the starting point as to how Ed Murrow made what the news is suppose to be, rather than entertainment. The news is more to be informal and truthful. Examples from the film, Good Night & Good Luck, along with other example from Murrow's work will be in good use. I would also like to add how George Clooney interpretation on Murrow and what his film means for what the media is today. The "just wires in a box" statement Murrow makes towards the end of the movie, what is he trying to say about it?
My idea is short and simple-analyzing if Edward Murrow's show or a program of similar style, would be possible in colonial and present day Zimbabwe. I will discuss the why and why nots, hopefully something interesting will come of it.
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