Newscasting: What Was Going On

On that first awful morning last week, many Americans phoned relatives and friends; unable to speak the unspeakable, they just said, "Turn on the television." Thus began a four-day period in which TV and radio attempted to link a distraught country into a comprehending whole. They succeeded to a remarkable degree.

The network news staffs were already in Los Angeles in full force, winding up coverage of the California primary, and most staffers—about 500—were within walkie-talkie range of the Ambassador Hotel. ABC was just running sign-off credits for its election team at...

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