JFK

1317 Words6 Pages
The assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) in 1963 was an event that shocked the United States (US) nation in both the nature of the event and the way in which the news was transmitted. It marked the rise of televised mass media and changed the face of journalistic practices taken to obtain such dramatic information for a story. Although there has been a significant advancement in technology throughout time and events of crisis have occurred on a larger scale, there are still inevitable challenges that affect the way in which news is covered. In this essay I will be looking at two of the most fundamental crises in US broadcast history, the assassination of JFK and the terrorist attack on the world trade centre on September 11th (9/11), showing both the modifications of news coverage and yet the analogous issues that perpetually affect journalists in covering so. One of the first and foremost challenges that was evident to have faced journalists in the documentary: JFK: News of A Shooting (More4, 2012) was a conflict between the need for a rapid relay of information during a time of crisis and ensuring that the dispatch of this information was accurate. Dallas, Texas, November 22nd 1963, the President of The United States was shot three times by assassin Lee Harvey Oswald whilst riding in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza. These facts however, were not as structured at the time and journalists were only provided an ambiguous bulletin by United Press International’s Merrimam Smith. Broadcasting the news to the public was suspended by CBS anchorman Walter Conkrite as he was awaiting official confirmation for something so major. Cronkite’s attention and consideration for the precise facts led to him becoming the most... ... middle of paper ... ...psychological and physical dangers just to get a story (Tumber, 2005) This is evident in the risk of obtaining information in the JFK documentary and in the close proximity that reporters stood to the falling towers in 9/11. Thus it can be shown that neither developments in technology nor years of reporting practice or experience can prepare a journalist for the unprecedented circumstances of a mass crisis. In retrospect of both events mentioned there is a somewhat distinct similarity of timeless complications involved in covering such catastrophic stories. Dominating both is the issue of responsibility that journalists have in reporting to the public, and I believe it is through the pressure of this responsibility in ensuring the news is relayed fast and yet accurate and yet with an emotional injection, that all the supplementary and inescapable challenges befall.

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