Cronkite School Kicks Off Year With Cronkite Film

A look back at American Masters is the way it will be Sept. 2.

In 1984, Arizona State University’s Department of Journalism and Telecommunication was elevated from department to school status and named the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication. In 2006, PBS’ American Masters profiled the namesake CBS newsman as a “Witness to History.”

Tomorrow night, at the outset of this new school year, the twain shall meet in the form of a screening of the PBS documentary as part of “Cronkite Night at the Movies.” The Sept. 2 kick-off selection will be introduced by Cronkite School senior associate dean Marianne Barrett and faculty professor Louise Solheim.

When Cronkite passed away in 2009, PBS chatted with the documentary’s director, Catherine Tatge. Among her observations:

Q: What did you learn from interviewing Cronkite’s contemporaries?

A: A really important point in this documentary is how reporters like Cronkite, and all the other greats I interviewed, were mostly people who came out of print journalism. They were real reporters. And that transition from print to television gave them an understanding of how to find and present a great story. Their print background is reflected in the language they use in their reporting. There’s real writing there.

These days, the news media often has to remind readers that so-and-so is not Walter Cronkite. To wit:

Jorge Ramos Is Not Walter Cronkite

Megyn Kelly Is Not Walter Cronkite

Correct, and correct. There was, and only ever will be, one.

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