Monday, February 01, 2021

Tom Brokaw advises TV journalists to get out of the biggest cities, get to know the rest of the country

Tom Brokaw
The Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol shocked many Americans, but broadcaster Tom Brokaw says it might not have been so surprising to cable TV journalists if they were more attuned to life outside of the biggest cities (where most large nationwide news sources are based), David Bauder reports for The Associated Press

Television new is “much, much too wedded to the East Coast and West Coast only," Brokaw told Bauder, noting a two-decade decline in local news coverage from nationwide broadcasters. "Take some of the people who are only in Washington and send them to Salt Lake City or Kansas City, or St. Louis for that matter." Brokaw said he believes relocations can be accomplished for a reasonable price.

Brokaw, who turns 81 this month, is retiring from NBC News after 55 years. The native of Yankton, South Dakota, pop. 14,573, said he's been impressed with the work of young journalists, but said stationing reporters in different parts of the country can help reduce the phenomenon of parachute journalism. "I don’t want to knock what they’re doing now because they get on an airplane and go to these places and they do a good job," Brokaw told Bauder. "But I always found it was best to invest yourself in different parts of the country and get to know the politics and culture."

Brokaw said he doesn't think it's possible to fully erase the damage to public perception of the news media after the Trump presidency, though. "I don’t think there will be a full recovery," Brokaw told Bauder. "I think this is baked in."

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