Edward R. Murrow at 100

From the archives: an appreciation of the broadcaster’s famous 1958 speech

Edward R. Murrow was born on this day in 1908. Though he died, too young, in 1965, he left to those who would follow in his footsteps a model of journalistic integrity that remains as relevant now as it was last century—as well as the inspiration of his conviction that journalism is a powerful instrument for good.

To pay tribute to Murrow today, we point you to Lawrence K. Grossman’s 2003 appreciation, in CJR the magazine, of Murrow’s famous 1958 speech, which examined the challenges posed by his day’s paradigm-shifting new technology: the television. “This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire,” Murrow declared. “But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box.”

You can read Grossman’s piece here. Enjoy.

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The Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review.