You can’t get more than a few minutes into any conversation about trust in media today before Walter Cronkite makes an appearance. People say they long for those days when everyone believed TV news, their hometown daily gave facts without slant, and CBS news reader Cronkite was the most trusted person in America. Well, to paraphrase Cronkite’s signature signoff, that’s not the way it was. He was never the most trusted man, just the facts news was almost never the profession’s default setting, and when it was, it made for pretty thin journalism. This episode’s guest, Professor Michael Schudson of Columbia Journalism School, has written or co-authored 15 books about the history and sociology of the American media landscape and he brings a historical lens to the question of what news was, is, and ought to aspire to be. In this episode, Eric and Michael cover the myth of news media’s golden age, the thorny question of objectivity, journalism as a check on tyranny, and what an informed citizen in a liberal democracy really needs to know.
Created & produced by: Podcast Partners / Published: Jan 31 2023