gordon joseloff’s column for public eye

Public Eye is a blog (sort of) published by CBS News, meant to be part ombudsman, part window on how the news reports are made. CBS News’ version of Public Editor.

Last week, PE published a column: Outside Voices: Gordon Joseloff Suggests CBS News Look To Its Past To Map The Future, where he suggests CBS News should tap its alumni for experience and wisdom about the news business, especially as it moves forward with a new anchor.

Joseloff points out that one of the key traditions of CBS News is the absolute separation between the news and entertainment divisions of the network. He also quoted some still-important sections of the CBS News Standard manual put together by the late Richard Salant in 1976. Here is just one paragraph:

And, finally, this is as good a place as any to remind ourselves that our paramount responsibility at CBS News is to present all significant facts, all significant viewpoints so that this democracy will work in the way it should work—by the individual citizen’s making up his own mind on an informed basis. Our job is to contribute to that process and not to make up for them the minds of those who listen to and watch us. We must always remember that a significant viewpoint does not become less significant just because we personally disagree with it, nor does a significant and relevant fact become less relevant or significant just because we find it unpalatable and wish it weren’t so.”

But take a few minutes and read the entire column—it outlines what news junkies (like me) are looking for.

Joseloff is a veteran CBS correspondent and producer who is currently First Selectman (mayor) of Westport, CT and founder and publisher of WestportNow.com (and one of our clients, we’re proud to say). (His bio)

Maybe someone could send a copy of the CBS News Standard manual to the producers and correspondents of Nightline. Or maybe ABC has its own manual, but somebody forget to give it to the new Nightline crew.

Speaking of anchors ... I try to watch Brian Williams on NBC whenever I get a chance. But I noticed a couple of times this week that he talks too slow, way too slow, like he has more time than he has stories. Like he’s trying to educate the stupid. I swear, last time I watched him I felt like I was in that stretched out time, you know, kinda like time is when you’re stoned or you have to listen politely to someone you’d just as soon slap into shutting up. And it’s not like it’s been a slow news week. I don’t know why it suddenly struck me. Maybe I was just tired. Or just anxious to get to Jeopardy (which is over until September, dang it).

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