Tom Brokaw: ‘Our Political Structure Is Badly Fractured’

NBC News vet delivered this year's "In Praise of Independent Journalism" lecture.

TomBrowkawRolandHall_FeaturedAt the outset of what would turn out to be a most distinguished journalism career, Tom Brokaw in Los Angeles covered Ronald Reagan’s first run for public office. Over the weekend, he was at Rowland Hall, an elementary and secondary school in Salt Lake City, talking 2016 presidential election politics as part of an “In Praise of Independent Journalism” lecture sponsored by the McCarthey Family Foundation.

Per a summary report by the Deseret News, Brokaw warned that whoever wins Nov. 8 will face a gaping need for national healing. The Oct. 29 event, free and open to the public, also featured questions from the school’s students:

“You’re linked to your generation around the world in a way that other generations were not,” he told one 12th-grade student during a question and answer session.

Asked by another 12th-grader about the most memorable moments his career, Brokaw said the most difficult was 9/11, while the most impactful were the fall of the Soviet Union and China’s rise to power. The most memorable people were those who are not famous, but whose contributions to the world around them are heroic.

The chairman of the McCarthey Family Foundation, Philip G. McCarthey, praised Brokaw at the event for challenging the “uncritical and unequal reporting” that framed many early months of presidential election season coverage. This effort, McCarthey said, helped push colleagues and various outlets towards more assiduous fact-checking.

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