Good Night, and Good Luck…

Yesterday I saw Good Night, and Good Luck and I was struck by Edward R. Murrow‘s speech that both begins and ends the film. Murrow’s investigative journalism was controversial and innovative in the 50s and 60s. He attacked his stories with a passion that was rooted deeply in his heart and morals, to bring real news to the people via the television set. Here is a snippet from the end of his speech at the RTNDA Convention in Chicago October 15, 1958:

    To those who say people wouldn’t look; they wouldn’t be interested; they’re too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter’s opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost.

    This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. 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. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference. This weapon of television could be useful.

To read his whole speech go here.

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