Newswatch: TV Examines Its Excesses

Now that the tension and rivalry of the hostage crisis are over, the television networks are examining their own performances. Even the most gung ho among them admit to some doubts. Anchors, cameramen, reporters worked long hours, often in dangerous circumstances, yet some of the response seems less out of gratitude than concern over television's excesses. Savoring the drama, the public was also concerned about the national interest.

Most viewers were probably only irritated by the unseemly scrambling among photographers or the squabbling among networks. They already suspect that journalistic enterprise is not unwaveringly high-minded. More troubling was the belief that...

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