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references Edward R. Murrow on 2/8/2020, 6:52:50 PM

excerpt Measure the results by Nielsen, Trendex or Silex-it doesn't matter. The main thing is to try. The responsibility can be easily placed, in spite of all the mouthings about giving the public what it wants. It rests on big business, and on big television, and it rests on the top. Responsibility is not something that can be assigned or delegated. on 2/8/2020, 6:56:22 PM

excerpt The sponsor of an hour's television program is not buying merely the six minutes devoted to his commercial message. He is determining, within broad limits, the sum total of the impact of the entire hour. If he always, invariably, reaches for the largest possible audience, then this process of insulation, of escape from reality, will continue to be massively financed, and its apologists will continue to make winsome speeches about giving the public what it wants, or letting the public decide. on 2/8/2020, 6:57:51 PM

excerpt I am frightened by the imbalance, the constant striving to reach the largest possible audience for everything; on 2/8/2020, 7:01:30 PM

excerpt But we all know that you cannot reach the potential maximum audience in marginal time with a sustaining program. This is so because so many stations on the network--any network--will decline to carry it. on 2/8/2020, 7:02:37 PM

excerpt Nowhere is this better illustrated than by the fact that the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission publicly prods broadcasters to engage in their legal right to editorialize. Of course, to undertake an editorial policy; overt, clearly labeled, and obviously unsponsored; requires a station or a network to be responsible. Most stations today probably do not have the manpower to assume this responsibility, but the manpower could be recruited. Editorials, of course, would not be profitable. If they had a cutting edge, they might even offend. It is much easier, much less troublesome, to use this money-making machine of television and radio merely as a conduit through which to channel anything that will be paid for that is not libelous, obscene or defamatory. In that way one has the illusion of power without responsibility. on 2/8/2020, 7:39:10 PM

excerpt If radio news is to be regarded as a commodity, only acceptable when saleable, and only when packaged to fit the advertising appropriate of a sponsor, then I don't care what you call it--I say it isn't news. on 2/8/2020, 7:44:54 PM

excerpt One of the basic troubles with radio and television news is that both instruments have grown up as an incompatible combination of show business, advertising and news. Each of the three is a rather bizarre and, at times, demanding profession. And when you get all three under one roof, the dust never settles. The top management of the networks with a few notable exceptions, has been trained in advertising, research, sales or show business. But by the nature of the corporate structure, they also make the final and crucial decisions having to do with news and public affairs. Frequently they have neither the time nor the competence to do this. It is, after all, not easy for the same small group of men to decide whether to buy a new station for millions of dollars, build a new building, alter the rate card, buy a new Western, sell a soap opera, decide what defensive line to take in connection with the latest Congressional inquiry, how much money to spend on promoting a new program, what additions or deletions should be made in the existing covey or clutch of vice-presidents, and at the same time-- frequently on the long, same long day--to give mature, thoughtful consideration to the manifold problems that confront those who are charged with the responsibility for news and public affairs. on 2/8/2020, 7:45:56 PM

authored-by Edward R. Murrow on 2/8/2020, 7:46:09 PM

excerpt This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and even it can inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it's nothing but wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference. This weapon of television could be useful. on 2/13/2020, 7:10:31 PM

note October 15th, 1958 at RTNDA convention. on 2/13/2020, 7:11:04 PM

excerpt But let us not shoot the wrong piano player. Do not be deluded into believing that the titular heads of the networks control what appears on their networks. They all have better taste. All are responsible to stockholders, and in my experience all are honorable men. But they must schedule what they can sell in the public market. on 2/15/2020, 6:06:23 PM