"Get it, read it, and pass it on."
"Most Americans living today never heard Ed Murrow in a live broadcast. This book is for them I want them to know that broadcast journalism was established by someone with the highest standards. Tabloid crime stories, so much a part of the lust for ratings by today's news broadcasters, held no interest for Murrow. He did like Hollywood celebrities, but interviewed them for his entertainment programs; they had no place on his news programs. My book is focused on this life in journalism. I offer it in the hope that more people in and out of the news business will get to know Ed Murrow. Perhaps in time the descent from Murrow's principles can be reversed."
Edwards, who has hosted NPR's Morning Edition since 1979 (though he's just announced his retirement from that post, as of April 30 of this year), examines the charismatic career and pioneering efforts of renowned newsman Murrow for Wiley's Turning Points series. Murrow's broadcasting innovations were indeed significant turning points. Joining CBS in 1935, when radio news usually focused on such preplanned events as parades and flower shows, Murrow ran the network's European Bureau by 1937 and became a celebrity in 1940 with his stunning rooftop broadcasts of the London Blitz: "Listeners in comfortable living rooms all across the United States were hearing Britons being bombed in real time." Creating a cadre of WWII correspondents, Murrow flew on 25 combat missions, delivering dramatic reports on everything from the "orchestrated hell" of Berlin to the liberation of Buchenwald's "living dead." Mainly remembered for its famed 1954 attack on Joseph McCarthy, Morrow's groundbreaking TV show See It Now (1951 1958) put field producers on location, offering live remotes, split screens, original film footage and unrehearsed interviews at a time other TV news featured only a reading of headlines. Edwards delineates a brief but striking portrait of a "driven man," a fearless fighter who set such a high standard for himself and others that he became a legend, leaving a lasting impact in newsrooms even after his death in 1965. The book includes excerpts from memorable Murrow broadcasts throughout.