The past week has been a tragic week in American journalism with an impending retirement, a suspension, and two deaths to four leading journalists.
On February 10, 2015, NBC suspended prime-time news anchor Brian Williams for misrepresenting his coverage of the Iraq War in 2003. Accused of lying of a helicopter crash while reporting on Operation Iraqi Freedom, amongst other alleged stretches of the truth, Williams was suspended for six months; thus tainting America’s trust in its news reporters.
Also on February 10, 2015, on his award winning Comedy Central show, 17-year host Jon Stewart announced his retirement by the end of the 2015. Critically acclaimed as one of the most trustworthy news reporters, Stewart’s departure leaves a large hole in American journalism and challenges another up-and-coming host to fill his place.
Journalism suffered two other great losses this week with the deaths of war correspondent Bob Simon and New York Times’ reporter David Carr. Simon was an awarded journalist that joined CBS News in the 1960s and covered nearly every military conflict during his time there. Simon was killed in a car crash on February 11, 2015. Carr, known for his precarious and silver-tongued style of journalism tragically collapsed and died in his office on February 12 after an interview with famed Edward Snowden.
These four departures, some deliberate and some tragic, but all unfortunate, have caused a great ripple in journalism. With the loss of some of America’s most trustworthy news sources, viewers and readers arguably feel shaken in whether or not they can believe what they read and hear. In the age of social media with thousands of sources to twist, rather than convey the truth, there is a sudden need for some very big shoes to fill.
Posted by Tia Thomas 4/7/15