Newscasting: Mastering the Art

In moments of national drama Americans stop their lives and turn on their televison sets. Last week, when President Johnson announced that he would not run for reelection, the network political experts were as flummoxed as the viewers. But four nights later, when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated television was in total command. Clearly, TV newscasters are not yet up to snap punditry; but they have mastered the art of reflecting events when dramatic action breaks.

Even before King was pronounced dead, NBC and CBS deployed film crews to Manhattan's Carnegie Hall,...

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