Murrow: The First Blogger

September 19th, 2008; 10:07 pm by Ryan Thornburg

For more than a year, I’ve been holding up Dan Froomkin’s Nieman Watchdog article about I.F. Stone as a great first stop for journalism students who are trying to understand what I mean when I say that thorough, accurate reporting and “voice” need to co-exist in their writing if they want to be successful journalistic bloggers.

But at a faculty picnic tonight, my colleague Dave Cupp inadvertently gave me another old-media model — Edward R. Murrow.

I just listened to a recording of the first CBS World News Roundup. If you’ve never heard it, listen to the incredible difference between Murrow and the other correspondents. Murrow’s report is both more detailed in its content and breezier in its delivery.

Murrow’s report is packed with first person pronouns and with street-level intelligence. He has long pauses. In at least one place he stumbles over words. It doesn’t sound professional; it sounds authentic.

The other correspondents speak about the state of the cities from which they are reporting. Murrow talks about his reporting process, as a way of telling us about the state of Vienna.

I.F. Stone mashed up with Edward R. Murrow. Now THAT’S convergence.

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