Television news has undergone remarkable transformations in the last seven decades. Beginning with the Camel News Caravan with John Cameron Swayze in 1948, evening newscasts drew tens of millions of viewers nightly and expanded from 15 minutes to 30 minutes when Walter Cronkite became the anchor of the CBS Evening News in 1963. With the launch of CNN in 1980, TV news expanded to 24 hours a day, seven days a week–and a new era in television journalism was born. Americans no longer had to wait until 6:30 p.m. to get their news but could tune in any time to find out what was happening, all over the world. In 1996, TV news would change once again with the launch of two new 24/7 cable channels: MSNBC and six months later the Fox News Channel, which introduced a more partisan approach to news coverage that would have enormous implications on American political life.
This presentation will look at these sweeping changes and examine the impact–both good and bad–of television journalism over the last six decades.
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This program is brought to you by Warner Library, Florida Public Library, Chester Public Library & Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library.