Dr. T. Harrell Allen is a professor in the School of Communication at East Carolina University. Before beginning his academic career, he was a reporter for daily newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. He was a fellow at the Washington Journalism Center in Washington, D.C. In addition, he worked at the Library of Congress in the Legislative Reference Section and also wrote speeches for members of Congress. After getting his Ph.D. in Communication from The Ohio State University, Dr. Allen worked as a researcher in the Computer Science Department at Battelle Memorial Institute, a think tank in Columbus, Ohio. He has been a faculty member at the University of Florida, the University of Southern California, California State University, Fullerton and California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Dr. Allen has published numerous articles and has written four books prior to this one.
2006 0-7734-5849-2 Eric Sevareid, one of the original Murrow boys, was a highly influential CBS correspondent and best known for his provocative television commentaries which he delivered almost every night on the Evening News with Walter Cronkite. From 1964 until his retirement in 1977, Sevareid’s commentaries reflected elegant language in an eloquent style and offered serious thoughts that entered the homes of many Americans, giving them the opportunity to weigh his words and thoughts and make up their own minds on important issues facing the nation. During this turbulent period in American history, Sevareid offered commentaries on the civil rights movement, the Vietnam war, the presidency of Richard Nixon and Watergate and the important role of mass media in a democratic society. Easily one of the most influential television journalists, Sevareid understood very well that his role as a commentator was not to advocate, but simply to inform and enlighten. His goal was not to persuade his viewers to adopt a particular viewpoint, but to tell them what he had learned in a lifetime of reporting. His professional perspective should serve as an instructive model for the new generation of broadcast journalists. This study examines Sevareid’s commentaries and offers an historical perspective on the tumultuous events which prompted them.