Clip of the Day: Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney discusses television news, in 1994

Source: C-Span Video Library

Duration: 26’

Andy Rooney died on Friday, November 4 2011 in New York City, aged 92, a month after the last of his many regular appearances on the CBS News network’s “60 Minutes” program.

His weekly segment on the show, “A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney,” made him one of the country’s most popular broadcast figures. He was nothing if not blunt, and sane. To his colleagues, he was “the Grandpa Moses of Broadcasting.”

Here he is on October 4 1994, in an address to the Radio-Television News Directors Association, reflecting on the decline in television news programming. He offers opinions on various aspects of television news journalism, including the role of star anchors.

“Maybe the decline in television reporting began when we started using the term ‘investigative reporting,’” he says. “Up until that time, all reporting had been investigative. ‘Investigative reporting’ always seems redundant, to me. But I can concede there is a semantic problem here. The word ‘reporter’ in its literal sense suggests someone who passes on the news, not someone who seeks it out, first. And I think we may need a word we don’t have, a word for a person in television who both seeks it out and then tells you what it is.”

Superstar news anchors, often the best reporters when they actually report, get paid a lot merely to retell the news gathered by others, “and they ought to be ashamed of themselves,” Rooney says.

Rooney worked in news, radio, and television for 70 years.

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Categories: Shorts

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