Bob Edwards’ Edward Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism is a short biography about the man that established and revolutionized broadcast journalism. Bob Edwards has ample experience in broadcast journalism as a radio news and talk show host for over 30 years (Biography.com). It is no surprise that Edwards takes a particular interest in writing about Edward Murrow since he certainly influenced Edwards’ career in radio news. While he conducted most of his research through secondary sources, he relied heavily on books by close co-workers of Murrow. With that said, Edward Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism is a great streamlined tale of Murrow’s journey from a logger, to an education advocate, to broadcast journalism.
As a biography, the purpose is to inform and educate about the life and career or Murrow. Edwards does a good job at touching on the highlights of his career, but I do not think he did a good job at stressing his importance in developing broadcast journalism. While the ties are there, I do not believe he accentuated his importance early on in the book of his development of the news roundup concept. The only reference to the development of this idea in the early chapters is the reference to Paley’s self-crediting of the news roundup in his autobiography (Edwards, 37). It does explain the current widespread usage of the news roundup idea and that the CBS team came up with the idea, but he is not credited for this and the television split screen until later in the book (Edwards, 81). Murrow’s trailblazing of the news media was more of a side note than a major theme throughout the book. While he was involved in the innovation of radio and TV news, it does not support the claim strongly even though we know that Murrow was a news icon and an idol for anybody looking to enter the news field. As such, it is extremely important for anybody who wants to understand modern news media to learn Murrow’s contributions to the field.
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