Broadcasts from the Blitz

Broadcasts from the Blitz: How Edward R. Murrow Helped Lead America Into War
by Philip Seib [Potomac Books]

This biographical study focuses on Murrow's pre-war and wartime years heading the London bureau of CBS. Closely following the British debates on whether to engage in the growing conflict between the National Socialist regime in Germany and its victimized neighbors, Seib tracks Murrow's personal responses to events, and the access to powerful officials afforded by his status as a prominent American journalist. Seib's main interest is to examine Murrow's conviction that Britain – and later, the United States – should enter the war, and how that conviction colored his broadcasts from London. For Seib, Murrow's siding "with the angels" more than makes up for any lack of objectivity in his coverage. The study raises compelling questions about the proper role of ethics and advocacy for contemporary journalists, in a period in which many prominent journalists once again helped lead America into war. -jl

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey