And last but not least, Edward's YouTube Page is Here
To finish off the post today here's a report that Phebe made a few months at ATA about her visit to Aaron Brown speak. It's a great read!
This is a review of a lecture from March, 2007 at Arizona State University.
I spent my Thursday evening at Arizona State University listening to Aaron Brown’s lecture on ‘Journalism in Our Times’. Mr. Brown is the John J. Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions at the ASU Honors College this semester, a position that was previously held by Henry Kissinger and Senator Alan Simpson among others.
There were few revelations in Aaron’s lecture, but some insight into his life and career. He shared that a lot of people want him to write a book, which he finds interesting since he’s an unemployed cable anchor. There was a mention of his childhood, he is the middle child of 5 siblings, and much to his mother’s dismay, the only one who never attended college.
Aaron shared some details of his class this semester. Since he is without a college degree he is shadowed by a tenured professor. His class consists of 20 of the best and brightest students in the Barrett Honors College at ASU. Aaron mentioned that per the syllabus he was supposed to cover 9/11 with his class this week. He told us he doesn’t talk much about 9/11, he finds it too emotional. He will be sharing some video of his CNN coverage of that day with his class but he’s not sure he’ll stay in the classroom to watch it. He’s never watched what he did on air that day. But he did say that “9/11 showed the news business how good we could be”.
If 9/11 was the highest professional moment of his career Aaron shared the low point was the night he was on the air for 4 hours covering ‘Breaking News’ in the Robert Blake murder case. His show was supposed to only be 1 hour long but they continued to rehash the story over and over, much the same as LKL does with ANS (my analogy, not Aaron’s). When he finally got home his wife, a journalist, was in bed and sleeping. He came into the room and she raised her head and asked him ‘Why?’ After thinking about it for a time he’s come to the conclusion that “Breaking News is like heroine, it feels good at first, but it’s very dangerous”.
When talking about blogs Aaron said they have changed reporting and possibly not for the better. Part of good journalism is to keep rumor off the airways and out of the press. Blogs seem to feel no such restrain and rumors are fair game. When a rumor grows to large proportions, because many blogs perpetuate it, then legitimate news sources are forced to cover the story, even if it’s just to deny its truth. “We (journalists) seem to have left the high road for the easy road.” He also said the bond of trust between viewers and the broadcasters has been broken. I found this a very sad revelation for him to have come to and one I’m not sure I agree with. There are a few journalists who haven't broken the bond of trust, one, for me, is Aaron Brown.
When asked about who is his favorite newsman Aaron named Peter Jennings. He said they had a very close, sometimes combustible relationship. Aaron worked closely with Jennings while at ABC. Anderson, Wolf and a few other names were mentioned but not in a negative or positive way, just in passing when talking about other newsmen.
In closing I’d like to leave you with a very powerful analogy that Mr. Brown made. He said “Television is a perfect democracy, remote controls vote”.