Donaldson: “People in This Business Are Doing a Better Job Than Ever Before”

By Chris Ariens Comment

Blogging from the 2008 NAB-RTNDA conference in Las Vegas.


ABC’s Sam Donaldson was honored with the RTNDA’s Paul White Award for showing “a commitment to service and a passion for excellence.” And the passion was in effect Monday night at the Las Vegas Hilton. Donaldson gave a rousing if a bit rambling speech with mentions of Kennedy and Nixon, Reagan and Stockdale. Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Matt Drudge and Perez Hilton.

Donaldson talked about the others honored before him: Ted Koppel, “best interviewer that we’ve had:” Charles Osgood, “the gentle giant of our business” and Christiane Amanpour, “who knows everyone of consequence in the world.”

Said Donaldson, “I’m not quite certain why I’m here.” Twice a White House correspondent, and former co-anchor of Prime Time Live and This Week, Donaldson now anchors Politics Live on ABC News Now. “I think that there are dozens of people watching,” he joked.

And while this old school journalist is at the forefront of new media (he anchored the first Webcast for ABC in 1999), he still recognizes the challenges. “Today the problem, of course, there’s no time to edit it, to look at it. The number of Web sites and cable channels, the fragmentation,” Donaldson lamented. But he is proud of the electronic journalism he sees. “I think, in general, people in this business are doing a better job than ever before”