If, on the other hand, he watched the story all the way through and the lights went up and he paused for a second and then said, “That is the best damn story I’ve seen all year,” I imagine the producer and correspondent slept well that night receiving high praise from the man who reinvented television news.

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Betsy West is an associate professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and an independent documentary film producer. She was a producer at ABC News for twenty-three years, where she worked for Nightline and PrimeTime Live, and was executive producer of the documentary program Turning Point. She was a vice president at CBS News from 1998 to 2005.