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One of the most unique phenomena of the twentieth century is the mass media revolution. Of the many pioneers who shaped broadcast journalism, it is Edward R. Murrow who has been called its founding father.

This microfilm collection spans Murrow's illustrious career in radio and television. It provides students in journalism, mass communications, and speech with insights into both Murrow himself and into the history and development of radio and television broadcast journalism. Among the famous broadcasts Murrow conducted during his CBS years were This ... is London, Person to Person, and CBS Reports, all of which represent the beginning of immediate, in-depth reporting of the issues, events, and personalities affecting world history.

Researchers can also explore such questions as:


  • Have the media reflected or created societal values?
  • What is the power and potential of the electronic media as a major force in our lives?
  • How have media ethics changed, both in theory and in practice?
  • How should the First Amendment be interpreted and applied to the electronic media?

The media explosion has raised these issues and others, both in academic and public circles, often placing industry under the harsh light of public scrutiny. Students can use this collection to study the early standards Murrow espoused and practiced for straightforward, truthful broadcast journalism and compare them to today's standards.

The collection features:


  • correspondence covering historical and current issues, key broadcasts during Murrow's career, the problems of reporting and public diplomacy, and Murrow's thoughts on the role of broadcast journalism in society. Murrow's famous correspondents include Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, Carl Sandburg, and Richard M. Nixon
  • personal papers, family documents, press clippings, and papers relating to Murrow's death which feature editorials, tributes, and broadcasts
  • Murrow's professional papers, including those covering administration and programming within CBS, where Murrow spent much of his career. Also included are documents relating to Murrow's position as Director of the United States Information Agency during the later years of his life
  • papers detailing Murrow's fraternal and philanthropic activities, such as his involvement in the Anne Frank Foundation and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

With this collection, researchers have access to previously unavailable documents to gain insights into Murrow and the media in which he worked. The Edward R. Murrow Papers is an essential resource for the serious student of communications to examine the intricate relationship between the media and society.

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