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Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism
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Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  198 ratings  ·  36 reviews
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Bill Moyers"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 Hol
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Wiley (first published 2004)
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It is discouraging to look at how far broadcasting has fallen from the first vision of Edward R. Murrow--who thought radio and television to should be an avenue to teach and inform the public. He was a man of integrity and was not afraid to stand up for what was right. He started to see the evolution of "commercial" broadcasting and tried to forewarn people that this would be the death of 'true' broadcasting.
Edwards is a great admirer of Murrow. However he does point out some of Murrow's weak spots. Murrow smoked 65 cigarettes a day, lied on his resume earlier in life and held a grudge against Walter Cronkite. About 1/5 of the book is Murrow's own writing. During the days when recordings were not allowed in radio broadcast, Murrow used striking metaphors and quotes from classic literature in his broadcast. Edwards ended the book by stating why Murrow would not fit in today's commercial journalistic ...more
Shain Thomas
Edwards, Bob. (2004). Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism. New Jersey: John Wiley & Son.

“I’m standing on a rooftop looking out over London. At the moment everything is quiet. For reasons of national as well as personal security, I’m unable to tell you the exact location from which I’m speaking.” (Murrow, 1941). This is a direct quote from a broadcast Edward R. Murrow did when he was a correspondent for CBS. Bob Edwards used this quote in the introduction to his book Edward
It was a choice between this and A.M. Sperber's 795 page tome. I'm interested in Murrow, but not enough to commit myself to reading the latter, not just yet anyway. This is unfortunate because Edwards' biography on Murrow really contains nothing more than the amount of information that watching Good Night, and Good Luck, or reading the Wikepedia entry on him has to offer. The writing is pretty bland and humorless, and even though he manages a concise enough account of Murrow's career, a lot of i ...more
I was prompted to read this book after hearing an interview with Bob Edwards on "The Daine Rheem Show". It is a small book but triggers much thought.

I knew little about Murrow at the start. In terms of learning about the man and his impact on broadcast journalism, this was a fabulous book. What a figure! I also knew little about the history of broadcast journalism, though I have watched the changes during my adult life. I learned a lot about that as well, and the last 10 pages or so chronicle t
Allison Long
I was very excited to read this book, having been a journalism student. However, this book was little more than, "Golly gee, isn't Ed Murrow great?" Sure, but I'm sure his story is more nuanced than that. The best part about this book are the passages that transcribe Murrow's broadcasts. I am disappointed that this book had so little to offer.
Fantastic, especially for such a short book. It's obvious that Bob Edwards had a lot of respect for Murrow--it shines through in every page. Lots of fascinating tidbits I didn't know about Murrow, including the fact that he chain-smoked his way through a television program he delivered on the dangers of smoking. This short read is worthwhile if, for nothing else, the excerpt from the October 1958 speech he delivered to the Radio-Television News Directors Association. It's as relevant today as it ...more
Brian Rogers
Another audoiobook, and Bob Edwards reading of his own material, interspersed with Murrow's actual recordings, is very well done. Murrow is so obviously a player character, accomplishing so much during his life that it's hard not to feel just a week bit inferior. I strongly recommend listening to it.
Edward R. Murrow reported live the bombing of London. He took on Senator McCarthy in a television broadcast. He pioneered broadcast journalism on the radio and the television. This was a short biography and introduction to his work.

Why I started this book: I found this audio while I was shelf-reading and remembered Murrow's name from my time volunteering at the Newseum in DC. Thought it would be a great book to kick start some nostalgia.

Why I finished it: Very basic introduction, but I loved tha
A short time when some thought news should be about news and not ratings and the all mighty dollar....
I enjoyed this, I have respect for those who had respect for those who felt that way. Too bad that intellect is long gone.
Very surprised to learn that Edward R. Murrow, that paragon of ethical behavior, repeatedly lied on his job applications. This led to some dilemmas, such as when a women's college invited him to be its president and then found out that he not only didn't have a master's degree but was also only 26.

Also surprised to learn that he integrated a national student government awards dinner 34 years before segregation was outlawed. The hotel managers refused to serve African Americans, so the white dine
I listened to the audio version of this book during a road trip. I'd already seen Good Night and Good Luck, so I felt like I had an idea of what we'd be learning about Murrow in this book. I was wrong. This man led a full, rich, and amazing life. He achieved so many wonderful things, not the least of which was setting our expectations about what journalism could (and should) be. I think the one thing I took away from the book is that if I see good journalism, I should let the station know. Too o ...more
Pierre Lauzon
The book serves as a very good introduction to Edward R. Murrow and his legacy as a founder of radio and television broadcasting. Bob Edwards is a modern interviewer on public radio and clearly respects the groundbreaking path that Murrow provided for him.

The Afterword of the book is particularly excellent, with Edwards' voice coming through examining the legacy of Murrow being corrupted by cable news and television as primarily an entertainment medium.

A. M. Sperber's monumental (752 pages) biog
A good book if on the short side
Jennifer Eckel
Short and sweet bio of Edward Murrow. I grew up listening to "I can hear it Now" records. It is from these recordings and other things that I get my love of history. I admire this man's pioneer spirit. He was a trailblazer. And he was blessed with a name like Egbert. Bob Edwards never addresses how Egbert became Ed, but he does give an interesting take on modern journalism and how Ed/Egbert would not be a happy anchorman in our days of "fair and balanced" journalism.
This is a great book for understanding how journalism is meant to be. It reads like it's written by a broadcast journalist (spare and informative) which it was. It shows the heroics of Murrow and his associates during wartime and their bravery in spite of powerful forces working against the truth.
Edwards has a great chapter on understanding the current state of journalism and how to wade through the noise to reach the truth.
Jul 07, 2008 Dollie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: biography and history lovers
I confess: I'm a "newsie". I love to watch, read and listen to the news. This biography was irresistible and after watching "Good Night and Good Luck", well, I couldn't wait to read this. As so many other geniuses who have changed the world, definitely a flawed and complex soul living in extraordinary times. A great read for history buffs and journalism buffs alike. A fast read too.
There was a time when television was the "New Media" and Edward R. Murrow was on the scene molding the future of television news. He laid a great foundationa nd Bob Edwards does a great job of telling the story. Too bad the 65 cigarettes a day habit took the life of this pioneer broadcaster.
Nicole Marble
Oh the joy of learning about a quality news reporter - someone of honesty and high standards. Yes, there once were such reporters of the news - people who reported facts and did not belittle others or holler.
For those interested in real news, this is a must read.
Lynn Eldredge
Mar 30, 2010 Lynn Eldredge rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
What a wonderful book. I loved it. Edward R. Murrow is the great example of independent journalism, untainted from money.
I loved the Afterword by Bob Edwards. I downloaded it from It was great to hear the actual voice recording of Murrow.
Lynn Eldredge
What a wonderful book. I loved it. Edward R. Murrow is the great example of independent journalism, untainted from money.
I loved the Afterword by Bob Edwards. I downloaded it from It was great to hear the actual voice recording of Murrow.
May 27, 2008 Deborah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Deborah by: interview with author on MPR
Shelves: journalism
Most of the book was a review of the highlights of Murrow's career, but Edwards emphasizes Murrow's desire to educate through media. Edwards himself would prefer that news help us learn about both sides of an issue, make us think.
Sep 26, 2008 Eric rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: History/media buffs
I read this a couple weeks before "Good Night and Good Luck" came out without knowing the movie existed. This book is a great supplement to that movie and Murrow was a pretty impressive guy.
Fascinating. I've ready this one three or four times already. I especially love the closing essay.
Interesting account of a fascinating time in the history of broadcast journalism
Read this book after seeing "Good Night, and Good Luck". Well written, but pretty thin.
details make it slow in places, but great way to learn about an awesome historical figure
Good narrative. “He was a shooting star and we shall not see his like again.”
Very interesting and great insight to broadcast journalism.
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