If I Were A Journalist

The late Walter Cronkite (1916-2009), former newscaster
of CBS Evening News in the US.

Before I gained desire for literature, I was inclined to journalism. Being a television enthusiast helped me to get myself closer to the field, watching newscasts, unearthing clips, and observing the styles of anchors and reporters. I remember frequently watching CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News during my elementary days, since I was less busy at those times.

However, the flair shifted at 2nd year, from this field to another, and that field is literature. I became more fond of fiction and poetry, instead of news and its associates.

There is this show, however, which I discovered maybe when I was at 2nd year, and which I think will be the program I would work for if I were a journalist. It's a very old show from the 80's in USA which was well-known for its unique style of news delivery, as well as for airing in the wee hours of early morning when TV stations were then supposed to be off-air. Thus, the program was named NBC News Overnight.

Observing this one-of-a-kind newscast, it is really different from a standard news program in many ways.

The anchors talk in a conversational manner. They don't even identify themselves at the start, for their names will be shown in the title sequence.

As I read it in one of the anchor's memoir entitled And So It Goes, Linda Ellerbee stated that Overnight presented stories as the reporters thought it should have aired, not cutting it off to fit the limits of the primetime newscast (NBC Nightly News).

She also wrote that some stories were even aired with reports of the same story as covered by different countries or by different states in US, which I believe served to give different perspectives to the news.

A notable segment in Overnight was "Newsreel", where a pile of news items were shown, each item given at least fifteen to twenty seconds, since the stories are only worth "less than twenty seconds" to be reported.

Another good thing about the program is they also air something what CNN or BBC now calls a developing story, and they put lighter stories to provide rhythm alongside heavier items.

Then around the closing of each program, each of the anchors will give his and her essay to cap off the program. And here, Linda Ellerbee is known for her quote that ends every show, until its final show on December 3, 1983—"And so it goes."

Overnight received positive reviews, as well as a duPont Columbia Award for being "possibly the best written and most intelligent news program ever"; and Time magazine's recognition of the newscast as one of the best programs of 1982 and 1983.

I'm so fascinated by this innovation of NBC News in the 80's. For me, it is an interesting show that shows how a television newscast should be—a show that sees the viewer as a smart one, and that breaks the barrier between the newsmen and the viewers.

Not all newscasts act that way anymore, I suppose (correct me if I'm wrong, therefore). The constant items in the news are killings, fires, accidents, crimes, and what else but showbiz gossip!

I'm glad there's Solar News. They're the best for me in the present when it comes to television news here in the Philippines. Anchors are calm and not coughing. The things that really and have to matter are the top stories. Entertainment for them is not gossip, and is even an inclusion of music. So, if there would ever be an overnight newscast in the Philippines—which seems impossible—then Solar News is the fittest place.

If I were a journalist, I would work on Solar and hopefully anchor a program like Overnight, as well as do some show like 60 Minutes, which is also a fascinating and sensible program I regularly catch and watch.

Yet, I'm now inclined to literature and the arts, including music. The best journalist I could be would be writing a column on a lifestyle section of a broadsheet, and of writing how my day was every night before I sleep.

And so it goes.

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