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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

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  307 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Get it, read it, and pass it on.
--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 H
Hardcover, 174 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Wiley (TP) (first published 2004)
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  307 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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May 10, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was written by Bob Edwards and chronicles the life of the famous radio and TV news journalist: Edward R Murrow. A little background – I grew up listening to the famous record series “I Can Hear It Now (1933-1945)“. I’m not sure why my mom bought them for me as a child, but I have distinct memories of listening to these albums (actually, 78rpm LPs, as in “Long Playing” for all you music streamers) along with my copy of “The Lone Ranger“. Incidentally, anyone interested can hear much of, ...more
Jerry W
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
The beauty of this audio set is that the voice of Edward R Murrow is liberally sprinkled throughout the performance and the book is read by its author. Considering the huge impact Ed Murrow had on broadcast journalism, it is shocking to find out that he died right after celebrating his 57th birthday.

At its inception, radio was a medium that offered live broadcasts as well as other entertainments. However, Murrow thought it was important (in the 1930s & 1940s) to explain to unconcerned Americ
Anne S
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audio version, read by the author. I’m glad I did, as it included actual audio of some of Murrow’s work. While reading the book would have been quite wonderful on its own, hearing the man added something extra to the experience.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
After reading "Suspect Red" by l.M. Elliott, I wanted to read more about Edward Murrow and others of that time period. This book did not disappoint. Great picture of the journalist and of his times.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, quick read that makes me appreciate my husband's job and the mid-20th century history. I also understand the movie "Good Night, and Good Luck".

I hope my kids read this book someday.

I share a lot of Murrow's values.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well written and well researched book on the beginning of broadcast journalism. I remember "See It Now" and Morrow on TV. This was a very interesting book!
Daniel Mount
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, wwii, history
The audiobook contains extended portions of some of Murrow's classic broadcasts, in the flow of the narrative. It's a welcome enhancement to the experience.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good. Although one-minute biographies are usually readable, they rarely meet this standard. Murrow had a fascinating life-story, even if the effect of his example has led to a raucous mob of imitators. The split-screen interview and a variety of other design patterns are still there, yet to be improved upon.
Jul 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: journalism
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
Oct 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
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
May 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
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
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
Janet Lavine
This is a sweet little book by Bob Edwards that reminds us that broadcast journalism was not inevitable. Edward R Murrow invented it -- from the rooftops of London during the blitz to McCarthyism, ERM brought the world into homes -- first radio, then television, often brutally unfiltered. My favorite part of this book was the afterword where Edwards muses on how ERM would react to broadcast journalism today -- when news programs' successes are measured by profits, where there is so much sensatio ...more
Jan 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, political
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
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked 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
Pierre Lauzon
Oct 17, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Apr 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jennifer Eckel
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Brian Rogers
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Allison Long
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
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.
Jul 07, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
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.
Carolyn Tassie
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Edwards did an amazing job of telling the tremendous influence that Murrow had on journalism. The small biography is packed full of names in the broadcasting field, all influenced or even hired by Edward R Murrow. Everyone in my book club loved it.
Sep 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Nicole Marble
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
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