20181019

NEWS

In December 2009, Diane Sawyer succeeded Charles Gibson as anchor of ABC's 'World News Tonight'. At the time, 'The Seattle Times' noted, "Evening news viewership habits tend to be steady, except in times of transition. ABC has been through several anchor transitions since 2005." Following the death of Peter Jennings, ABC News tried the male-female anchor team of Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff. Then in 2006, Charles Gibson took over as the evening broadcast's sole anchor.

According to Nielsen Media Research, at the time, the total viewership for the "22 minutes of current events" were "aggregating about 22 million viewers." Diane Sawyer was "the face of ABC News" until August 2014. Diane's first day was "kept deliberately low-key." However the network flagship evening newscast did make minor changes such as the "first update of on-air graphics in five years."

'Broadcasting & Cable' website observed, "Getting the anchor post on one of these three networks is still the television industry equivalent of being appointed to the Supreme Court. When events send Americans to their television sets, they are not simply looking for information; they are looking for a steady voice and an authoritative presence."

Based on the Pew Research Center survey, Marisa Guthrie reported that while network TV evening newscasts skewed toward an older audience, more respondents age 18-29 (some 83%) acknowledged the importance of not losing the 6:30pm newscast than did the 60-plus crowd (74%). "The evening news costs millions to mount, and has a newsgathering footprint that spans national and international outposts."

Speaking to the BBC in 2001, Peter Jennings made the comment, "One of the things that needs to be essentially understood about the United States is that we have more information available to the public than I think any other nation on earth, whether it's on television, radio, in our vast number of newspapers and magazines - opinion of every imaginable position can be read and seen and absorbed here (in the US). I don't think that television always does the absolute best, most sophisticated job of covering the world - we would like to have more time to do so. But I think that to suggest that the news in America is dumbed down is somewhat ill-informed."

In 1999, Peter Jennings told the University of California, "The sad thing about being an anchor is I no longer get to be a reporter. If it was raining in London, I went to Africa looking for a story."

BBC News, 2006: Yugoslavia was first formed as a kingdom in 1918 and then recreated as a Socialist state in 1945 after the Axis powers were defeated in World War II. The constitution established six constituent republics in the federation: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. Serbia also had two autonomous provinces: Kosovo and Vojvodina.

"By 1992 the Yugoslav Federation was falling apart. Nationalism had once again replaced communism as the dominant force in the Balkans. Slovenia and then Croatia were the first to break away, but only at the cost of renewed conflict with Serbia. The war in Croatia led to hundreds of thousands of refugees and reawakened memories of the brutality of the 1940s. By 1992 a further conflict had broken out in Bosnia, which had also declared independence. The Serbs who lived there were determined to remain within Yugoslavia and to help build a greater Serbia."

'The Los Angeles Times', March 1993: When Peter Jennings told ABC News executives several months ago that he wanted to cover the war in the former Yugoslavia, they were reluctant to let their high-profile anchor go. Nine journalists were killed there last year (in 1992), according to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists - including ABC's own David Kaplan, a producer.

Paul Friedman, executive vice president of ABC News told 'The Los Angeles Times', "Obviously, we are concerned about the safety of all of our journalists, but Peter has a particular role at the network. But Peter desperately wanted to go. Finally, we didn't see any sense in throwing ourselves in front of this train that was coming at us. So we suggested that he just go over there, without any big announcement that he was going or coming back."

'The Los Angeles Times' continued, "Traveling in two armored vehicles that were borrowed from the British Broadcasting Corp., Jennings, his producer and crew were stopped one day by Bosnian government soldiers in the countryside." Peter Jennings recounted, "We jumped out of the truck. These soldiers were waving guns at us, saying, 'Get out of here, BBC.' But we said, 'No, excuse me, we're ABC.' Thankfully, they remembered ABC from the (1984 Winter) Olympics. I was scared to death, with the snipers and the shelling, as we traveled through Bosnia, Herzegovina and other countries. But you know, everybody in Sarajevo is in danger all the time."

'The Los Angeles Times' continued, "During his 12-day trip in January (1993), Jennings filed a number of reports on the war and daily living conditions for 'World News Tonight'. (On March 18, 1993), he anchors a one-hour documentary, 'The Land of the Demons', that he says is designed to 'try to explain what's going on there, why it's going on and what might be the consequences if the United States got involved.' The program explores the history and reasons for the hatred between the Serbians, Muslims and others, with reporting and interviews by Jennings, national security correspondent John McWethy and diplomatic correspondent Barrie Dunsmore.

"In a set similar to one that was built for ABC's coverage of the Persian Gulf War, Jennings will walk around a huge map of the region to discuss the war and its roots. In an era of cutbacks in foreign-news bureaus among the broadcast networks and what seems at times to be foreign policy dictated by the pictures seen on American TV, from Somalia to the Persian Gulf War, the network anchors are well aware that their presence adds importance to a story."

Peter Jennings added, "I went to Sarajevo - and ABC has had reporters there - because people are being killed there, and the United States may or may not be able to do something about it. I don't think the word Holocaust should be used loosely, but there is a massacre going on there. I don't believe that the press should look back on this war and say that we as journalists did not give it enough attention." 

Peter Jennings also told reporter Jane Hall he disagreed with the notion that television was dictating US foreign policy, "The United States government, for example, has had a policy in the Sudan, although the government in Sudan has not allowed TV crews there. But if the presence of the anchor does lend some attention to a story, why not go someplace where there hasn't been as much attention?

"The networks have never been able to cover every spot on the globe. You have to make editorial decisions to cover those places, events and issues that you think are most important to Americans' lives and American interests. I think people in this country care more about foreign news and their place in the world than they're given credit for."

As an anchor, Peter Jennings told the University of California, "I have the power to put things on the agenda. During this trip to Berkeley, I've already come up with six or seven stories ideas to take back. The evening news is much better than before. Access to technology, specialists and scholars has improved the information we are able give audiences. As long as the evening news delivers good content, there will always be a place for it. However, there is a drive in the networks to move it around on the schedule to make it more accessible."

20181017

NEWS

The year 2005 "completed a remarkably rapid, generational transition in broadcast news" with the loss of the Holy Trinity of TV news, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw. Speaking to 'New York' magazine in 1984, Van Gordon Sauter of CBS News made the point, "Anytime you change an anchor, there is an attrition in the audience."

At the time, Van Gordon Sauter believed, "CBS is unquestionably the network that stands out. Our counterparts are far more predictable in what they cover. They follow what would be a traditional newspaper-wire-service diet of the day's stories while we tend to be more eclectic … The 'Evening News' is a snapshot, taken once a day. In the foreground of the snapshot are the major stories; behind, we move into an area where we can show discretion as to the stories we pick.

"One of the valuable things about the Old Guards (people from the era of Eisenhower, Hula Hoops, and circular television sets) is that they're the storytellers, the priests, the troubadors, if you will. They are the quiet critics. They perform an important role, but they don't help you through the minefields; the value system does … 'CBS Evening News' is unquestionably the best-produced of the three broadcasts. The storytelling is infinitely superior to the graphics.

"The most tangible change we made was eliminating the broadcast's opening animation … We created our own typeface … Certainly we brought our generated graphics into a more contemporary style … At one time, ABC was the more immediate competition. NBC was the sleeping giant. ABC was gaining on us rapidly. They were within range … At this moment (in January 1984), NBC, after us, does the best journalism, and ABC, after us, the best production.

"Sunday morning is totally unlike Monday through Friday … Sunday morning, I get up, fix myself a huge bowl of popcorn, get a couple of Tabs, sit down with five or six newspapers, and watch television. I grade Sunday morning by how deep I get into my newspaper pile during the two-hour broadcast ('Sunday Morning' with Charles Kuralt and 'Face The Nation' with Lesley Stahl). Monday through Friday, I get to grab a couple of Tabs, read a few sections of newspapers, watch a bit of television, and dash out the door. If I'm lucky, I have 40 minutes to give to a television set. I have to be able to come in and out of that broadcast and find it coherent.

"Diane (Sawyer) was a star waiting to happen. Very early in our time here (at CBS), Ed Joyce and I went to lunch one Saturday with Diane. I didn't know Diane Sawyer from watching television (then co-host of 'CBS Early Morning News'). I thought she was the ice queen. We sat down, and she was well read, informed, graceful, exuberant. And I said, 'Go on television and be Diane Sawyer. Just go be yourself.' And she did. It was always there."

'New York' magazine reported in 1991, "When producers of the 'CBS Evening News' changed a typeface on the show's opening graphics, William S. Paley was on the phone, demanding to know why he hadn't been consulted."  Typefaces were said to be the most important feature of text, giving subliminal messages and because of its power to create a sense of recognition and trust.

Speaking to the 'BBC News Magazine' in July 2010, typeface designer Julie Strawson elaborated, "Everyone recognises the BBC just from three characters in Gill Sans. It's an icon. If you wrote BBC in a flowery font people wouldn't recognise it." Reporter Tom de Castella noted, "Banks are particularly aware of this, with companies like Barclays creating their own branded font to reinforce a sense of security at a time when fear of fraud and scamming is high. Around the world, organisations spend so much time and money changing their typeface."

Selecting a font, was said, similar to getting dressed. 'BBC Magazine' learnt, "Just as one chooses an outfit according to the occasion, one decides on a font according to the kind of message you are seeking to convey." Julie Strawson continued, "Some people find serif best because, like handwriting, it helps the eye to link the letters. With sans each character is completely separate, there's more white space which is why some find it more readable."

Increasingly, people became more aware about the impact of fonts. Fonts producer Jonathan Barnbrook told the BBC, "A good typeface creates an emotional response in relation to the message it is conveying. You're trying to get that tone of voice right - you can shout or whisper. And you want to sum up the spirit of the age, because they do date quite quickly. Typography is so closely associated with language so you can express irony and get the whole complexity of emotion in there."

Typeface designer Bruno Maag told the BBC the Swiss font Helvetica, "If you think of ice cream, it (Helvetica) is a cheap, nasty, supermarket brand made of water, substitutes and vegetable fats. The texture is wrong and it leaves a little bit of a funny aftertaste. Lower case Ss are notoriously difficult to get right. But in Helvetica it's not straight - you want to go in there and tighten it up. And the 'a' looks so woolly and ill-conceived, it really winds me up."

However, of the Swiss font Univers, "It's the true modernist typeface. There's no fuss and schmuss about it, it's a clean, tight design. If Helvetica is Julia Roberts - pretty enough - then Univers is Uma Thurman - really cool."

20181016

NEWS

For the three decades between 1956 and 1986, the dominant trend in television had been the expansion of news programming, 'New York' magazine reported. Along with Peter Jennings at ABC and Dan Rather at CBS, NBC's Tom Brokaw transformed the role of news anchor, 'Fortune' website added. 'Rolling Stone' pointed out, "The common perception is that what we see is what we get, that we know our anchormen, with their instantly recognizable faces, that we can call them by their first names: Peter, Dan and Tom."

When Peter and Tom took over as anchors in 1983, the three network evening newscasts had a combined average of 43 million viewers (some 84% of the viewing audience). 'The New York Times' explained, "In their role as anchors of the network evening news, the three have come to symbolize continuity and order in the face of sometimes shattering news events."

As "communicators" presenting the world to a vast audience (mainly adults 25-54 – the key news demo) at dinner hour (6:30pm), 'Channels' magazine editor Les Brown observed, "They want it to be a reassuring view of the world." Each weeknight Peter, Dan and Tom were familiar guests in those roughly 40 million American households delivering the news.

After eight minutes for commercials had been subtracted, each newscast had 22 minutes of stories to tell. Usually, the newscasts featured the same general rotation of the news — Washington (White House and Congress), War Zones (South Africa and the Middle East), American Heartland (tornadoes, drought, farm foreclosures, 30-car pileups on California highways) and Human or Animal Interest (the boy who fell through the ice, the baby born to the brain-dead mom, Bambi's mother and lost whales).

At the time, a short segment on 'World News Tonight' could take over two minutes in the broadcast. An extraordinarily long segment could run up to four minutes. Each minute represented roughly 160 spoken words, and as reported, the total number of words on a newscast could fill over half of a typical newspaper page. It was also mentioned about 15% of each network's news content was not covered by the others at all.

Like town criers, Richard S. Salant told 'The New York Times', the anchors offered proof each night that 'the world's still here and there's going to be another day." Andrew Heyward made the point in 2002, ''The founding fathers had a town meeting in mind where we'd develop a rough consensus. An audience of one is a different model. How do we have a national dialogue on which to base decisions for democracy? Maybe the hearth of the evening news will grow more important. There's a human desire to gather around the fire - there always has been.''

As reported at the time, "The present three-way split in the news audience among Jennings, Rather and Brokaw serves them well, still keeps them in power. But as the local and cable alternatives present themselves, the anchors' constituencies may further weaken. Change wrought by technology - particularly readily available satellite transmission - is another of the principal pressures the anchors and their programs face."

'Entertainment Weekly' reported in 1991, "During the Persian Gulf War's (codenamed Operation Desert Shield) first three days, ABC News drew more viewers than any other network, solidifying its position as TV's best and most popular news division. NBC's coverage, which placed second in the ratings for the war’s first five days, was generally efficient.

"Meanwhile, from the first moments of the war, CBS was hampered by technical disasters — notably the loss of contact with Allen Pizzey in Baghdad — that caused it to lag badly in the war’s early days; half a dozen affiliates even dropped CBS temporarily in favor of CNN. In a medium where public perceptions quickly harden into fact, CBS lost early and thus lost big; when it declined to follow ABC and NBC and expand its nightly newscast to an hour, CBS virtually took itself out of the race."

'Rolling Stone' continued, "TV news is divided into two historic periods — the years B.C., Before Cronkite, and the modern era. From the late Sixties until 1981, there has been only one proto-anchor, and his name is Walter Cronkite. A lot of Sixties viewers were older folks. News watching, like voting in elections, has traditionally been a middle-aged activity, and CBS’s prime-time entertainment schedule appealed to older rural and small-town audiences. This was the era of 'The Beverly Hillbillies', 'Green Acres' and 'Hee Haw'. The mass audience then became younger and less middle-class and white." 

Peter Jennings saw himself as an internationalist who viewed the world as a global village. Dan Rather stated, "I am the keeper of the flame of Ed Murrow, Walter Cronkite and Douglas Edwards." Tom Brokaw's kind of news was regarded centrist. Together, Peter, Dan and Tom were said formed a three-way mirror of America that told viewers where the country was at the time and where the country was heading in the future.

On ABC, Peter Jennings was described as urban, projecting an image with which a more youthful market could identify. On CBS, Dan Rather appealed to an older, idealized America of the imagination. Tom positioned himself somewhere in between, in the middle. The quarter-century between 1981 and 2005, the three were regarded an embodiment of broadcast news.

Peter Jennings had said that educating viewers about issues, especially those concerning international affairs, was his greatest satisfaction as a journalist. Rep. Bill Shuster told 'New Yorker', "For the entirety of his career, Rather has allowed his liberal bias to shape the news rather than report it." Tom Brokaw made known, "I don't get up in the morning and bury my head in my hands. My instincts are as a reporter. I have a story to tell.''


20181014

NEWS

In the 1998-99 TV season, 'Dateline NBC' could be seen five nights a week. Some 320 staff were working on the program at the time to produce up to 800 stories a year for the network, including stories in some stage of production. A story on 'Dateline NBC' was usually about "a good character in conflict over something. That's the essence of what we do."

As reported, "Newsmagazines, especially those that are not yet well established, do not go into repeats, which means they have to produce twice as many 'episodes' as dramas do." In its review, 'The New York Times' remarked, "Under Neal Shapiro's guiding hand - and not always to the delight of media critics - 'Dateline NBC' has rewritten the rules of the newsmagazine show. 'Dateline NBC' is also remaking the landscape of prime time. As its success has grown, 'Dateline NBC' has also reshaped how entertainment executives view newsmagazine."

'The Christian Science Monitor' noted, "On most Tuesday evenings in 1997, for example, 'Dateline NBC' drew 16 million viewers, handily beating ABC's 'NYPD Blue' in the ratings." Using a newspaper term, Neal Shapiro told 'The New York Times' 'Dateline NBC' was popular because "it seeks out sidebars, millions and millions of sidebars" to stories in the news. "We do stories on the things people are talking about. The stories that are in the public consciousness. People say I'm cynical and I'm just trying to get the audience in. Is there an element of that? Yeah. But along the way I give them a good story and they come away saying, 'I didn't know that.'"

Speaking to the 'Chicago Tribune' in 1996, Neal Shapiro described the format of 'Dateline NBC' as "exactly like 'Time' and 'US News' and 'Newsweek'. You may get some little stories, or you may get one big takeout on an important story. And there'll be some things at the end of the magazine that make you laugh or chuckle or something.

"It's nice to acknowledge that our lives are more than just big important stories about corruption in Washington. Sometimes it's just about what's the hot book, what's the dopey trend in movies, what's the cool special effect that everybody's talking about. And I think we've done that better than anybody. To me, there are some things that are perfectly legitimate and appropriate to do, and I'm kind of puzzled why some things are O.K. in the printed world, but not on television.

"What I like about 'Dateline' is we're always trying to redefine the genre. '60 Minutes', because of its tradition, for so long defined the newsmagazine as three pieces and Andy Rooney. What's lost is when Don Hewitt started, he was the pioneer. He was this aggressive young guy, and the traditionalists who did documentaries said: 'What is he doing? Documentaries need to be an hour. You can't do three in an hour. What are these ambush interviews that he's doing? It's outrageous.' Don has been an incredible pioneer, but that doesn't mean it should stop there."

In 1996, 'Chicago Tribune' reported, "A team from software giant Microsoft is poking around the back of the curious, wood-and-computer-innards set of 'Dateline NBC', to get ideas for a World Wide Web site that will highlight the partnership between NBC News and Microsoft, a pairing that is expected to have a 24-hour cable news channel up and running by mid-July 1996. The Microsoft-NBC venture signifies the network's expansionist attitude toward the universe of news delivery, 'Dateline NBC' has come to symbolize such an attitude toward the prime-time world (at the time 'Dateline' was known as a multiple-night magazine)."

Andrew Lack believed 'Dateline NBC' was "as well-produced a program as we will ever see on American television." 'Chicago Tribune' acknowledged, "With its relentless focus on the topical, what 'Dateline NBC' does isn't so much shape the market as reflect it." The show had a "flexible, Baby Boomer-friendly, consumer-oriented format."

In the 1994 world of prime-time television newsmagazines, the 'Orlando Sentinel' observed, "The majority of the daily broadcast equivalents of supermarket tabloids." Don Hewitt added, "Right now, there is a feeding frenzy and with it there seems to be an effort in some quarters to load up America's TV sets with the same garbage that weighs down America's supermarket counters." 

However in head-to-head competition, Joe Peyronnin of CBS News pointed out, "If '48 Hours' is up against two dramas, you can expect it to be a hit. If you schedule another magazine against it, you end up dividing the share points." Neal Shapiro insisted, "In the long term, people will still want a mix of news, entertainment and drama, and the news audience is sizeable."

Every newsmagazine tried to develop its own style. Connie Chung told 'The Washington Post', "Since there are so many (newsmagazines) on the air, it's important for us to distinguish ourselves." 'Now' featured more "tales of crime and violence, leavened by pieces involving celebrities, sex and television itself. It is a formula made successful by such syndicated shows as 'Hard Copy', but since this is network television, even the seamiest stories must be given a high-minded gloss."

'20/20' featured a "mix of investigative pieces, consumer-advocacy and profiles." '60 Minutes' would blend "at least one fresh story a week into its traditional mix of more timeless pieces." 'PrimeTime Live' found "a niche of undercover, 'hidden-camera' journalism." Tom Brokaw made the comment, "The more the news division can get on the air and deal with nonfiction programming, the better off we are. It's healthy for our survival."

Connie Chung said before the June 1993 premiere of 'Eye To Eye', "I've been out, shooting stories like a maniac in the last several weeks. When we go on the air, I will not be able to travel as far or as long, so I've been virtually on the road. The farthest place I've gone is Poland." Between July 1992 and October 1993, Lech Walesa appointed Hanna Suchocka the government caretaker, thus making Hanna Suchocka Poland's first female Prime Minister and the first woman to lead Poland since Queen Jadwiga in the 14th century.

'The New York Times' informed, "A social and fiscal conservative, Hanna Suchocka came from a small village, worked her way up the communist-approved democratic opposition and allied herself with Solidarity. An admirer of Margaret Thatcher, she prefers 'Ms.' to 'Madame' and says: 'I am not linked with any feminist movement. But there exists some kind of women's solidarity.'"

Connie Chung was in Poland, partly to interview director Steven Spielberg who was working on the film based on Thomas Keneally's book 'Schindler's List'. The book was about the late German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who risked his life to save the lives of 1,300 Jews during the Holocaust. "Ours (report) really is quite moving. We interview the Holocaust survivors and the actors who are playing them."

20181011

NEWS

In the 1990s, on prime time - when TV's largest viewing audiences gathered - newsmagazines were the hot ticket. By mid-1993, over one-tenth of the series in network prime-time were newsmagazines. 'The Los Angeles Times' observed, "For now, though, what is driving the newsmagazine engine is a combustible combination of relatively low budgets and high ratings." 

Andrew Heyward reminded, "When the networks began putting on a number of new newsmagazines several years ago ('48 Hours' premiered in 1988), the economics of the shows was a key force in their gaining slots in the prime-time schedules. The conventional wisdom was that, in a time slot where the network was likely to be second or third to the competition, a newsmagazine was attractive programming. What's interesting about the current TV season (1992-93) is that not only are these shows financially attractive to the networks, they're among the highest-rated shows in prime time."

CBS's '60 Minutes', which 'The Washington Post' noted, had "a sterling journalistic reputation" gave birth to the genre in 1968. Speaking to 'The Christian Science Monitor' in 1998, Don Hewitt remarked, "For years, '60 Minutes' has been making great soup. And then somebody comes along and says, 'You know, if you put some water in that soup, you could get two bowls for one.'" 

Shepard Smith told 'Chicago Tribune' in 2002, "What's interesting is newsmagazines really got on the map because of the summer months … The idea is to get people to come to the table, and then stay and eat for as long as possible. That's the goal behind the fancy set and the great graphics and the music and the fog machine. I think the steak is going to be there. A menu is going to get you to the table, but if you don't like the dinner, you're not coming back." 

'The New York Times' made the comment, "Network newsmagazines, like the mass-circulation print magazines America had to make do with in the drear days before television, occupy that large territory between the higher, somewhat sedate reaches of journalism and the pulps. The ingredients have not changed much. But the proportions are different. Straight reporting on nonsexy issues is less common." 

Don Hewitt insisted, "The success of '60 Minutes' is four words that every child in the world knows: Tell me a story. And that's what we do - we tell stories. I'm convinced of one thing, and I don't know why every television producer doesn't know this. I'm convinced it's your ear more than your eye that keeps you at your television set. It's what you hear more than what you see. I will go into a screening room and I'll see some spectacular pieces of tape and turn to the producers and say, 'OK, what's the story, what are you trying to tell me?'" 

'Newsweek' reported, "Today's (in 1993) TV newsmagazines live in a killing field of competition, often within the same network. Among the victims are the three major evening news broadcasts, which have seen many of their best resources diverted to the magazines ... With 'hot' stories in short supply, these shows increasingly rely on investigative reporting, most of it picked up from small newspapers, dramatized for television, then passed off as original."

Morley Safer told 'The Washington Post' in 1995, "We should not be inviting 'The Washington Post' or 'The New York Times' or anyone else into our newsroom and our process. The chicken-(expletive) that goes on in any newsroom, it's gossip. Personalities within this shop ('60 Minutes') have become the subject of journalists-turned-gossip columnists … Every jerk who has no idea about the process can get his two cents in. If all these breast-beating advocates of the First Amendment are so wild about it, why haven't they gone after the story, if they're so ballsy? What's happened to journalism?" 

Victor Neufeld maintained, "The network newsmagazines, particularly the ABC newsmagazines, have a history and are committed to long-term, in-depth journalism. The major distinction (between network and cable) is that we spend tremendous amounts of time and effort on each story, and generally only go after stories that are, hopefully, distinctive. And we don't have the need to fill 24 hours a day." 

In conclusion, 'The New York Times' acknowledged, "All in all, these programs live up to the standards of popular journalism, although you might wish at times that those standards were higher: the subject matter more varied, the point of view less predictable, the reporting deeper and fairer, the editing less jumpy, the close-ups of villains less harsh, the treatment of victims less soppy, the language of the reporters fresher and more businesslike. 

"But even with their excesses and shortcomings, the television magazines perform much the same service that mass magazines performed in the old days, as they draw attention to abuses of the weak or the trusting by the strong or the crooked, and shape other information coherently and engagingly. That is what the best mainstream journalism has always tried to do, along with making money, and is probably as much as anyone can reasonably ask of it."

However Joan Konner, publisher of the 'Columbia Journalism Review' argued, "The dramatization of personal-hardship stories, which have no larger significance in society, is not useful journalism. It's pure exploitation. It serves no public interest, other than entertainment."

'Newsweek' made the point, "The biggest thing wrong with these shows is that they are structured to convey drama and narrative more than information. But this problem is not just about tabloidism; it's inherent in the medium itself. TV is often maligned for being geared to those with short attention spans. Actually it requires a longer (though more languid) gaze to watch one of these shows than to skim a newspaper. How many articles take 15 minutes to read?" 

Hugh Downs begged to differ, "Two generations ago (in 1978), stories didn't make the evening news unless they involved geopolitics or the military. As a result, an awful lot of important information went unreported, especially stories about family issues, consumer scams, and health. Lowell Thomas just wouldn't do those types of stories. But now (in 1998) Peter Jennings does, and so do we on '20/20'." 

'Newsweek' concluded, "But if TV newsmagazines are an inefficient means of conveying information, they certainly convey more of it than the alternative - which is entertainment programming. When this fad for news-tabloid and otherwise-passes, TV audiences will know less about their world than they do today (in 1994). It sounds depressing, but a few years from now the early 1990s may look like the true golden era of television news."

20181010

NEWS

Speaking to National Public Radio in 2016, David Westin, the University of Michigan-trained corporate lawyer and also a former Supreme Court clerk, made the comment, "Television news is a true team effort. I knew that; I said that. I didn't appreciate the extent to which when you're out there and it's your face, your voice, going out, when someone makes a mistake, the prompter's wrong, they write the wrong things in there, nobody says, 'Oh, the control room did something wrong; nobody says that producer made a mistake.' It's you." 

In 2015, David Westin anchored Bloomberg TV's morning show, 'Bloomberg GO', "I thought (between 1997 and 2010) they're (ABC news anchors) just being finicky, or they're awfully sensitive, or they're temperamental, they're talent. Now (in 2016) I realize, oh I see why they were so upset by that; I see why that was so frustrating to them; I understand why they lost their temper." 

It was noted "Bloomberg Television draws modest audiences but it does attract influential viewers from the specialized worlds of finance, business and government." 

Diane Sawyer shared "a little chuckle at the ironies of life." Speaking to David Folkenflik, Diane Sawyer recounted, "I'm told that every management at every network calls us 'anchor monsters'. I'm just throwing that out there, not that it could possibly ever be warranted. He (David Westin) has such an effective and concise mind — I guess that was honed as a lawyer. But he understands immediately the way we think of stories — beginning, middle, end. He understands that intuitively." 

Charlie Gibson concurred, "David was a very astute lawyer. He's facile in the way his brain works. And the way he synthesizes things — the way he listens to what people are saying and then puts things together. I thought this is a really unconventional choice, but he's really good on the closed circuit broadcasts." 

Diane Sawyer continued, "I think sometimes when you're new — and I certainly did this a lot — you think you have to stop and have a little thought or two or paragraph or six before you turn. I've said to him, speed is your friend. When you came after a broadcast and said, 'Let's talk about the broadcast,' he thought that you were looking for reassurance, or you were looking for compliments. 

"In fact you were saying, 'I am out there with the teleprompter, which I am reading, and the news copy which I am working on, and working ahead, and the story order is changing, and the stage manager is telling me which camera to look at, and I'm concentrating on the viewer, and there's somebody in my ear who may be telling me about breaking news. 'Tell me — did we land the broadcast? Did we say what we wanted to say? Who were we out there?'" 

David Westin acknowledged, "There are very few jobs you can have ... where they pay you a reasonable amount of money to come in every day, learn about things other people don't know about, and then tell other people about it in a way they can understand and retain and use. That's a really good job. And on a really good day, make a difference." 

Emily Miller worked at ABC News, Washington D.C. bureau, at the time David Westin succeeded Roone Arledge as ABC News president. As reported in 'Human Events' website, Emily Miller told readers, "Roone Arledge was one of the greatest minds in broadcast history. Westin inherited the Arledge legacy and proceeded to squander it. Even now (in 2010), I remember the shock and disappointment among the journalists that a lawyer — Westin — would be running their beloved news division. 

"Westin was not a news man. But, as time went on, Westin’s bigger problem was that he wasn’t a businessman. Journalists like to think themselves above the fray of the business side of their industry. But media is a business like any other. When existing revenue streams are drying up (TV shows lose viewers) and there is no new revenue streams (by creating new programs that appeal to viewers, develop a cable network outlet, digital media/the Internet), then expenses have to be cut. Arledge created programming to meet the audience demands. 

"Magazine shows, derided by critics as being undignified for a news division, were the most profitable divisions at ABC News. He wasn’t elitist and met the public demand with shows such as '20/20' and 'PrimeTime Live'. The late night news program 'Nightline' evolved out of a nightly report on the Iran hostage crisis that was getting good ratings. Arledge recognized the space for competition to NBC's 'Meet the Press' so he decided to create his own Sunday public affairs show. 'This Week with David Brinkley' quickly became the Sunday morning standard both in ratings and revenue. 'World News Tonight with Peter Jennings' was the No. 1 evening newscast for years." 

It was mentioned, "During Westin's tenure, ABC News received 11 George Foster Peabody Awards and over 40 News and Documentary Emmys." 

'Nightline', after New Year's Day 1993.

Barbara Walters: He's a man searching for peace but mostly finding trouble … Boutros Boutros-Ghali said he is a politician and not a diplomat. He is a man who like to find solutions … He's Secretary General of the United Nations at a critical time as crises are popping up like poisonous weeds in the post-Cold War world. But he can't even try to apply solutions, it seems, without causing a stir. Last Thursday (New Year's Eve 1992), he came to Sarajevo and the city came out to greet him. And it was ugly. He was booed. He was spat on. He was condemned for urging negotiation of a military intervention against the Serbs.

"And yesterday (Sunday January 3, 1993), in Somalia, protestors threw garbage and stone at him. Many Somalis blamed the U.N. for not moving earlier to prevent widespread famine and civil war. Earlier today (Monday January 4, 1993), I spoke with U.N. Secretary General Boutros-Ghali about the obstacles he faces in his peace missions around the world. He was in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) where he was mediating informal peace talks amongst Somalis clans. Nothing comes easily for Dr Boutros-Ghali these days and that include our conversation. He has trouble hearing me and I have to shout over a less than clear connection."

Barbara Walters: Welcome, Mr Secretary General. We're very happy to have you with us. This has been a very difficult time for you. You went over on a peace mission but on Friday (New Year's Day, 1993) you were spat on and insulted while in Bosnia and yesterday (two days after New Year's Day) you were driven out of Mogadishu (Somalia). Do you feel besieged? 

Boutros Boutros-Ghali: Not at all. I believe that what happened in Sarajevo and what happened in Mogadishu represent something very marginal, that the great majority of the population welcome the United Nations and are in favor of the actions, the mediation and the assistance given by the United Nations.

20181006

THE TRAVELING WILBURYS

The 1989 single, 'End Of The Line' by The Traveling Wilburys (compromised Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty) was said represented "the train's last stop." 'End Of The Line' took place on a train. In the song, the band sung about "Well it's all right … Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring (end of the line)." 'End Of The Line' was the final track on the album, 'Traveling Wilburys Volume One'. 

In its review of the album in October 1988, 'Rolling Stone' magazine noted, "This is the best record of its kind ever made. Then again, it’s also the only record of its kind ever made." 'Rolling Stone' also observed it was stated on the album's liner the origins of the band, "The original Wilburys were a stationary people who, realizing that their civilization could not stand still for ever, began to go for short walks – not the 'traveling' as we now know it, but certainly as far as the corner and back." 

In 2013, some 25 years later, 'Classic Rock Review' website remarked, "The most perfect album closer to any album – ever, 'End Of The Line' contains a Johnny Cash-like train rhythm beneathe deeply philosophical lyrics, delivered in a light and upbeat fashion. Harrison, Lynne, Orbinson, and Harrison again provide the lead vocals during the chorus hooks while Petty does the intervening verses. 

"The song revisits the classic music themes of survival and return with the universal message that, in the big picture, it all ends someday. The feeling of band unity is also strongest here with the folksy pop/rock chords and great harmonies. The music video for 'End Of The Line' was filmed after Roy Orbison's death in December 1988, mere weeks after the album's release, and paid tasteful respect with a shot of a guitar sitting in a rocking chair during the verse which Orbison sang." 

Speaking to 'Mojo' magazine in January 2010, Tom Petty described writing a song with Bob Dylan, "There's nobody I've ever met who knows more about the craft of how to put a song together than he does. I learned so much from just watching him work. He has an artist's mind and can find in a line the key word and think how to embellish it to bring the line out. I had never written more words than I needed, but he tended to write lots and lots of verses, then he'll say, this verse is better than that, or this line. Slowly this great picture emerges. He was very good in The Traveling Wilbury's: when somebody had a line, he could make it a lot better in big ways." 

Speaking to the 'Count Down' TV program in 1990, George Harrison recounted the origins of The Traveling Wilburys, "First time it (the band) came about I just made a record called 'Cloud Nine'. In Europe, you know, they make those 12-inch singles and they usually like to have an extra song on the record. So they asked me for an extra song and I didn't have one already recorded. 

"So I thought the easiest thing to do was to go into a studio the next day and to write a song quickly, record and mix it and give it to them. So that night I had dinner with Jeff Lynne who was having dinner with Roy Orbison. We all had dinner together, and I said tomorrow I'm going to find a studio and go in some place, make up a tune and make this record. 

"So I said to Jeff, 'Do you want to come and help?' and he said, 'Yes, okay.' But the problem is, you know, where are we going to find a studio and engineer so quickly. So Roy Orbison was there and he said, 'Well, if you do something, call me. I'd like to come along and watch.' And I thought Bob Dylan has a little studio in his garage so I called him and said, 'Do you mind if we come along tomorrow?' He said, 'No, come along, that's okay.' 

"And Tom Petty, also, I had to go to his house to pick up my guitar around his house so he said, 'Oh good, I'll come.' I was wondering what was I going to do tomorrow so the next morning I started to write a song and thought well if Roy Orbison going to come it's silly to have him sitting there, you know, he's a better singer than everybody. I'll write a little part for Roy to sing. Jeff thought that was a bit cheeky. 

"Anyway, we got to Bob's house and Jeff and I finished the song off - the music to it. We didn't write words at that point and then we wrote the lyrics and that story, I said that story many times, about to try to think what the song lyrics would be? We needed a title or some idea and I saw a box in the garage at Dylan's house said, 'Handle With Care'. So we wrote the lyrics around that. As I had the part for Roy, I thought, I might as well get a part for Bob and Tom, Jeff, everyone singing in the middle part. 

"So we made the record. We mixed it. I took it to the record company. They said, 'Oh it's too good to just give to Europe on an extended play because it's not going to sell 'Cloud Nine' record.' It's not on the album. They didn't want it to be imported to America because it has no value. So I kept the tape in my pocket and I kept playing it. So I thought the only thing I could think of doing with it is, if we did that one song in one day, all we need are nine days with Bob and Roy, everybody and we make an album. So that's what I did. I asked them to 'Let's make an album.'" 

The Traveling Wilburys, George Harrison explained, "It came about by those circumstances and it just happened that Roy and Bob and Tom, everybody was there. By the time we finished the record - we wrote the songs in the 10 days but Jeff Lynne and myself then produced it into the album, so we spent a little more time working on it - and by the end of it, we thought it was a good record. I thought just by the people who were on the record, that's good enough maybe in America to sell four or 500,000 copies. If it's not good music than it won't sell anymore doesn't matter who is it. The record, obviously people liked it and it did very well so I was happy about it but I didn't expect anything really.    

"We wrote two songs a day for the first five days and then the following week we got together again we did five songs in one day with the drummer, all live, but that's the basic structure of the song, that isn't with the lyrics and the melody. We then wrote the words later ... When we make solo albums we take longer because it's difficult to make sure you're doing the right thing. 

"In The Wilburys, it's a totally different situation. With four people there, you know, when you write the words, if one or two people don't like that particular line then you just write it again. But by the time you've written the word or singing the word then you know that's final, that will do so you don't get hung up on it because it's shared responsibility, so, also in the structure of the song or the chord change or the attitude to the song has. 

"It's much easier to determine because if the moment everybody agree and start playing it, you know it's good enough for me if they all like it. The thing about The Wilburys for me is if we have tried to plan that or if anybody have tried, you know, say that, 'Let's form this band and get these people in it,' it will never happen. It's impossible. And the thing (Traveling Wilburys) happened completely just by magic, just by circumstances, maybe there was a full moon that night or something like that and it's quite a magical little thing really."

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