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Walter Cronkite 1916-2009


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#1 LessBread   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1411

Posted 17 July 2009 - 02:55 PM

Famed American journalist Walter Cronkite died today at age 92. He was the anchor of the CBS evening news for nearly 20 years, from 1962 to 1981. His career in journalism began in the late 1930's. He covered WWII from the front, atmospheric atomic bomb tests in the 1950's and as the anchor he gave voice to the assassination of President Kennedy, the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Apollo Moon landing, Watergate and the Iranian hostage crisis. He was deemed the most trusted man in America. He set the standard for television news anchors. No one has done him better since. He believed that the purpose of journalism was to educate the public, not to entertain the public or serve as a messenger for the powerful. I would say he'll be missed, but as far as I'm concerned, he's been missed for a long time already. Rest in peace, Walter Cronkite.

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#2 JimboC   Members   -  Reputation: 152

Posted 17 July 2009 - 03:40 PM

He was definitely an icon. News just hasn't been the same since he was on. Sad news indeed.

#3 Oberon_Command   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1960

Posted 17 July 2009 - 04:21 PM

Only days before the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, too...

#4 Naurava kulkuri   Members   -  Reputation: 344

Posted 18 July 2009 - 12:58 AM

The news reached Finland too as reported by, for instance, our BBC equivalent and one of the main news papers .
---Sudet ulvovat - karavaani kulkee

#5 BerwynIrish   Members   -  Reputation: 337

Posted 18 July 2009 - 08:47 AM

He had a long and full life, so I can't say that I'm sad at his passing, but he definitely deserves whatever honors and accolades will be coming his way. Let's hope beyond hope that maybe some in his profession will choose to honor the man by starting to act like journalists.

#6 LessBread   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1411

Posted 18 July 2009 - 11:01 AM

According to Cronkite set standard for news anchors around the world, news anchors in Sweden are called Kronkiters and in the Netherlands, Cronkiters. Can anyone confirm this?

It might be difficult for people who grew up after Cronkite retired to grasp his impact. Today there are so many ways to get the news that it might be difficult to imagine a time when nearly two thirds of the nation got their news from one man, but they did and Cronkite was that man. He didn't let that go to his head either. He earned the public's trust.

Here's a more detailed look at his career: How Missouri native became 'most trusted man in America'. Here are some highlights.

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As the Watergate crisis unfolded, Cronkite began to increase the amount of airtime devoted to it. This drew the wrath of the Nixon Administration, which threatened to pull the licenses of TV stations owned by the network.

On the 50th day of the crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1980, Cronkite began closing his newscast by reminding viewers — including President Carter —how many days the Americans in Iran had been held hostage.

Yet in his biography Cronkite wrote, "A career can be called a success if one can look back and say, ‘I made a difference.' I don't feel I can do that." In particular, Cronkite felt the values he had learned as a journeyman — clarity, modesty, accuracy — were rapidly being abandoned under pressure from corporate management and shareholders.

In a 1976 survey by U.S. News and World Report, readers selected Cronkite as "the most trusted man in America" — a moniker that would accompany him the rest of his life. President Carter awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981.
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Cronkite, who never earned a seven-figure salary, spoke out against the networks for paying their biggest stars huge sums while cutting reporters and slashing resources behind the scenes. He was particularly harsh on CBS, and bemoaned the fact that his advice was ignored by Lawrence Tisch, the financier who took over the network in 1986.

He spoke out on a variety of other issues, such as climate change and the war in Iraq, ending the neutrality he had tried to keep under wraps while reporting the news.

Yet when asked about the sway he thought his opinions held with the public, Cronkite would try to distance himself from the personality cult that had built up around him.

"I always have been concerned about the idolatry connected with anchorpeople on television," he told the New York Times in 1989. "It bothers me a great deal that people would say, 'I believe every word you say.'"
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At one of them in 2003, Cronkite criticized the Bush administration's plan to invade Iraq.

"We have shown arrogance, almost an egotism, in our conduct of foreign policy so that we have alienated most of our former allies in the world," he said, adding that the Iraq War "is going to get us in very serious trouble."
...




#7 Wan   Members   -  Reputation: 1366

Posted 18 July 2009 - 11:08 AM

Quote:
Original post by LessBread
According to Cronkite set standard for news anchors around the world, news anchors in Sweden are called Kronkiters and in the Netherlands, Cronkiters. Can anyone confirm this?

As for the Netherlands, I'm afraid that's false. I'm a news junkie and I've never heard the term. In fact, I think most people here have know idea who he was, even though he, according to Wikipedia, apparently was of Dutch descent.

#8 Naurava kulkuri   Members   -  Reputation: 344

Posted 19 July 2009 - 11:31 PM

Quote:
Original post by LessBread
According to Cronkite set standard for news anchors around the world, news anchors in Sweden are called Kronkiters and in the Netherlands, Cronkiters. Can anyone confirm this?
My natively Swedish speaking friends have this to say "Nej, det har jag aldrig hört talas om. Låter väldigt konstigt.", which essentially means that they haven't heard news anchors being called by that term and it sounds complicated. The sample was two persons.

I was almost writing the Swedes would use either programledare or programvärd, but all my language skills are on holidays still so I checked. And my Swedish is Moomin Swedish anyhow. :-) Actual Swedish people probably correct my hazards or fill in the details.

Otherwise I didn't know this Cronkite person. He must have had some influence in the right circles for it made to the news. So to speak, his life was both long and deep.

[Edited by - Naurava kulkuri on July 20, 2009 10:31:39 AM]
---Sudet ulvovat - karavaani kulkee

#9 NisseBosseLasse   Members   -  Reputation: 234

Posted 19 July 2009 - 11:48 PM

Quote:
Original post by LessBread
According to Cronkite set standard for news anchors around the world, news anchors in Sweden are called Kronkiters and in the Netherlands, Cronkiters. Can anyone confirm this?


As for Sweden, no. Maybe it's used by the people who work as news anchors, but I've never heard it.

Naurava: no worry, you're right!

#10 LessBread   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1411

Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:46 AM

Yes, maybe it was used by people who work in television journalism and maybe they used the term 30 years ago.

Here's more on why Cronkite was important: Celebrating Cronkite while ignoring what he did

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All of that was ignored when he died, with establishment media figures exploiting his death to suggest that his greatness reflected well on what they do, as though what he did was the same thing as what they do (much the same way that Martin Luther King's vehement criticisms of the United States generally and its imperialism and aggression specifically have been entirely whitewashed from his hagiography).

So, too, with the death of Walter Cronkite.

... Cronkite's best moment was when he did exactly that which the modern journalist today insists they must not ever do -- directly contradict claims from government and military officials and suggest that such claims should not be believed. These days, our leading media outlets won't even use words that are disapproved of by the Government.
...


And the full text of Cronkite's dissent against the Vietnam war can be found here: Cronkite's 1968 Dissent on Vietnam Helped Save Thousands of Lives

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For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. This summer's almost certain standoff will either end in real give-and-take negotiations or terrible escalation; and for every means we have to escalate, the enemy can match us, and that applies to invasion of the North, the use of nuclear weapons, or the mere commitment of one hundred, or two hundred, or three hundred thousand more American troops to the battle. And with each escalation, the world comes closer to the brink of cosmic disaster.

To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. On the off chance that military and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy's intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations.

But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.





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