Back then, few "hits" were more valued in PR circles than landing a segment on one of the TV network evening newscasts with Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw or Peter Jennings. It was the holy grail of a PR "placement," albeit in an admittedly easier to ply media ecosystem as compared to today's journalistic shit show.
With the onset of cable, TV splintered to a point where today a program exists for every taste and on any topic, no matter how pedestrian. (Kim and Kanye, anyone?)
The caustic culture of cable news gave rise to the next generation of TV news. Jon Stewart and his Comedy Central cohort Stephen Colbert took a no holds barred look at the day's headlines, added a comic sensibility, and in so doing, drew huge numbers especially among the important 18-35 demo.
Stewart and Colbert validated SNL News's irreverent delivery of the nightly news. The Onion's former digital director Baratunde Thurston and The New Yorker's latest hire Andy Borowitz took the genre to even greater satirical heights. All the while, quality TV journalism suffered as the once-dominant broadcast evening news programs continued to lose audience share and influence, while cable news fell far short of the promise of Murrow. (Thank goodness for PBS NewsHour.)
"The Newsroom" - a hybrid docu-dramatic offering from HBO and the very hot Aaron Sorkin that may usher an entirely new genre of news delivery. It's ostensibly an entertainment show that, not unlike Sorkin's The West Wing, draws its plot from recognizable people and events. In the Newsroom, however, Sorkin has taken a page from Jon Stewart by showing actual newsclips and calling out newsmakers by name.
fawning review of "Newsroom" for Gawker (of all places).
panned the show and its creator - mostly because they lack an historical appreciation for the glory days of TV news or have a personal thing against Mr. Sorkin's rat-a-tat dialogue and perceived Hollywood sensibility.
Costas-Sandusky when ferreting out distortion and lies in an interview -- something sorely lacking in the likes of CNN's Candy Crowley or NBC News's David Gregory who sit strangely silent as highly dubious political talking points pollute their airwaves unchallenged.
Meanwhile the on-air talent at real TV news organizations continue to get schooled daily by well-oiled (and funded) political s̶u̶r̶r̶o̶g̶a̶t̶e̶s̶ ̶ propagandists. Mike Wallace, we miss you already.