It’s going to be hard to forget where I was when Walter Cronkite died. Last Friday evening, at the moment that it happened, I was in the midst of a conversation with two respected veteran journalists, at a charity dinner table. We were discussing the changes in the media businesses and speculating about the “who” “what” “when” “where” “why” and “how” about the future of news and information.
The three of us talked about where things have been, where they are going and how the public can possibly be served with the business side of media being battered so severely. It’s the kind of “shoptalk” that happens virtually every day inside Tanner Friedman. But, this time, it seemed heavier, with more at stake than normal chit-chat. Of course, we had no idea what was happening inside the New York hospital room where a true legend of journalism was surrounded by his family in his last moments.
Of course, there will not be another Walter Cronkite. On that, we can all be certain. But there is much uncertainty facing the business of reporting and delivering news.
The communications, business, overall, has never been so ripe with opportunity. There are so many ways to deliver and receive information. I believe that it is a privilege to be working in communications in this era. But, journalism has always been at the centerpiece of how our society consumes information. When Walter Cronkite left the anchor desk, quality began to suffer. At the time, it seems like that would be the biggest issue “The Business” would ever face. Now, those on the inside wish that was all they had to fear.