CBS’ Scott Pelley: ‘Banging the Drum’ for Old-Fashioned Values in Digital Journalism

By Mark Joyella 

Scott-Pelley1“CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley’s old enough to have grown up in a world where CBS News was a titanic force, looming over the horizon. Today, CBS fights for its share of an ever-expanding audience, not just against ABC and NBC, but also CNN, Fox, and a myriad of digital news operations like BuzzFeed and Vice and Fusion. And he’s worried. “What I would like to see in journalism today is a renaissance that spreads to the Internet — what many consider to be old-fashioned journalistic values.”

In an interview with AM New York, Pelley says the seemingly limitless supply of information available to consumers carries a risk–the difficulty of knowing whom to trust. He argues the internet needs some of the same old school values that were taught in newspaper and TV newsrooms:

Those values are not common on the Internet. They are common among major newspapers, they are common among major television networks, etc., but they need to become the ruling principles of what we’re reading on the Internet. It’s never going to be perfect, it’s never going to be pervasive, but I think we’re at an inflection point here in journalism and in media now where we’re making a decision about the quality of our country going forward because of the quality of the information that we’re offering our audience. It worries me a great deal, and I’m often on my bandwagon banging the drum, particularly with young people who are interested in journalism because we need them, but we need them to be good.