Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism

  • by Bob Edwards
  • Narrated by Bob Edwards
  • 4 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Long before the era of the news anchor, the pundit, and the mini-cam, one man blazed a trail that thousands would follow. Reporting live from the streets and rooftops of London as Nazi war planes rained terror from the skies during the Battle of Britain, Edward R. Murrow brought the stark horror of war and the shock of breaking news events directly into American living rooms for the first time, and that was just the beginning. In Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism, one of America's most celebrated broadcast journalists tells the dramatic and inspiring tale of how America's first and greatest newscaster changed the way we receive, understand, and respond to the news. Former NPR Morning Edition host, Bob Edwards, reveals how Murrow pioneered the concepts of radio reports from foreign correspondents, nightly news roundups, and live "you are there" broadcasts. He explains the impact of Murrow's London reports on public opinion, encouraging aid to Britain, and how the high standards that he lived by influenced an entire generation of broadcasters.
This brisk and incisive account tracks Murrow's postwar career from the revolutionary television programs See It Now and Person to Person through the legendary 1954 broadcast that helped bring down the Red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy, to his many run-ins with his boss, CBS founder and president William Paley. Once close friends, Murrow and Paley clashed repeatedly over the now-familiar conflict between journalistic integrity and corporate profits.


What the Critics Say

"Edwards delineates a brief but striking portrait of a driven man, a fearless fighter who set such a high standard for himself and others that he became a legend, leaving a lasting impact in newsrooms even after his death in 1965." (Publishers Weekly)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very interesting book, easy-listening

It is hard to beat a short biography, on an individual of great historical interest, someone who shaped the media as we experience it today, read by the author, and the author is a radio personality himself. That is the package we have with "Edward R Murrow ..." This audio book is a breezy biography, not an in-depth review of Murrow & his times, but neither does it drift downwards into the superficiality that is often found in books of this category. I completed the book knowing quite a bit more about Murrow & about his importance & his influence & his struggles. And I completed it wanting to know more about him. There are a number of good, lengthy biographies of Murrow & I plan to sample at least one of them. Now, this book does not get the full complement of 5 stars for two reasons. The first is my feeling, perhaps unfair, that the author could & should have written a book that was 50% or 100% longer, because this one simply does not satisfy sufficiently. It is good for the length it is, read well, well organized & so forth. The second is that at the very end it descends into a sort of fawning rhapsody, just the last 10-15 minutes, that was irritating. Nevertheless, given the subject matter, momentum & outstanding narration, I recommend the audio book very highly.
Read full review

- D. Littman "history buff"

An brief history of Edward Murrow

This book was recommend by one of the people I follow. I had just finished two books on Walter Cronkite where a there was a great deal of information about Murrow. Murrow pioneered radio news broadcasting and Cronkite pioneered television news broadcasting. In this short book Edwards covers Murrow's early life and then in WWII his shift from education into news broadcasting. The majority of the books is about WWII and includes a few of his most famous broadcasts from the bombing of London. The book briefly goes into his work after the war and his battle with Senator Joseph McCarthy. Murrow was a friend of William Paley the founder of CBS, the book covers their working together in WWII to their battles over what news broadcasting should be after the war. Murrow left CBS and was appointed to a committee by President Kennedy and he helped design the PBS network. Bob Edwards both wrote and narrated the book. Edwards is a well known newsman from PBS. The ending of the book sort of leaves one sad for the state of television and radio according to Murrow's' view. If you are a history buff this is a must read book.
Read full review

- Jean "I am an avid eclectic reader."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-10-2004
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio