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“This Reporter”- A documentary on Broadcast Journalism’s founding father.

Subject of This Journalist, Edward R. Murrow. Image source- Britannica.
Subject of “This Journalist”, Edward R. Murrow. Image source- Britannica.

By Elizabeth Sears and Kailey Houle

“This Reporter” is not just a documentary on the life of journalist Edward R. Murrow, but the story of the genesis and the evolution of broadcast journalism. This documentary alternates between present day interviews with former colleagues and family members of Murrow’s to photos, radio broadcasts, news footage, and news broadcasts from the time periods being discussed.

 In the documentary, clips of Murrow’s broadcasts are shown and are as compelling now as they were when they were first shown. They perfectly communicate his influence and the news’ influence on the United States; Murrow’s broadcast on Senator McCarthy and McCarthyism gave the first indications as to the power that broadcast news could wield.

A still of Murrow during his response to Senator McCarthy. Image source- American Rhetoric.

The pace of “This Reporter” effectively mirrors Murrow’s career; it is quick and upbeat at the beginning to convey the energy and excitement in Murrow’s early days as a war correspondent and the driving force behind “See It Now”, the first coast-to-coast commercial television broadcast, turning slower and sullener toward the end when Murrow had become despondent over the direction with which broadcast news was headed.

The cover of “See It Now”, the first coast-to-coast commercial television broadcast. Image source- IMDb.

“This Reporter” is an engaging and fascinating look into the life of a man who is synonymous with broadcast journalism. Watching this documentary will give you a new perspective on the news and make you question how today’s news is being conveyed and the unsavory motives behind it. It is a must-see for prospective journalists and for anyone who has an interest in the news.

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