NEW YORK — If Tom Brokaw has one piece of recommendation to go away for tv journalists upon his retirement, it’s to get out to extra of the nation —and never simply to go to.
The Capitol rebel is however one instance of a narrative which may not have appeared as a lot a shock if extra journalists have been attuned to communities exterior of the facility centres, the veteran NBC newsman mentioned.
Tv information is “a lot, a lot too wedded to the East Coast and West Coast solely” and must increase its presence throughout the nation.
“Take among the people who find themselves solely in Washington and ship them to Salt Lake Metropolis or Kansas Metropolis, or St. Louis for that matter,” he mentioned in an interview with The Related Press.
Brokaw, who turns 81 subsequent month, introduced final week that he’s retiring from NBC Information, the place he labored for 55 years. He mentioned he’s been overwhelmed and heartened by the outpouring of fine needs from colleagues and individuals who watched him on TV for a lot of of these years.
He’s been away from the facility centres himself, and hasn’t been to New York since earlier than the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. He has cut up time between houses in Montana and Florida.
His recommendation to the business he’s forsaking has nothing to do with the kind of they-don’t-make-’em-like-they-used-to criticism you would possibly get from older folks in any enterprise. Brokaw mentioned he’s impressed with the work of younger journalists at NBC Information and elsewhere, and is invested in seeing them succeed.
He believes a reorientation can happen with no important outlay of cash for an business that has seen a two-decade decline in native information protection.
“I don’t wish to knock what they’re doing now as a result of they get on an airplane and go to those locations they usually do an excellent job,” he mentioned. “However I all the time discovered it was finest to take a position your self in numerous elements of the nation and get to know the politics and tradition.”
He’s pessimistic a few change within the public’s angle towards the press after 4 years during which President Donald Trump thought of journalists the enemy.
“I don’t suppose there will likely be a full restoration,” he mentioned. “I believe that is baked in.”
Brokaw has stored busy within the years since he stepped down as “NBC Nightly Information” anchor in 2004, doing documentaries, showing on “Morning Joe” and the community throughout newsy events for commentary and writing. He’s ending a guide about his dad and mom and their life rising up through the Despair in South Dakota.
For twenty years, Brokaw, Peter Jennings at ABC and Dan Fairly at CBS dominated tv information — a interval during which cable and digital information sources both didn’t exist or weren’t almost as established as they’re.
Brokaw recalled that when the late Jennings was requested whether or not the three males have been buddies he responded, “form of.” They have been rivals however had a shared worth system, Brokaw mentioned.
“I grew up in Yankton, South Dakota, hoping that at some point perhaps I’ll get to seem on NBC Information with (Chet) Huntley and (David) Brinkley,” he mentioned. “And, by God, it was inside three years I used to be on Huntley-Brinkley, first from Omaha after which from California.
“It was bang, bang, bang, similar to that,” he mentioned, “and it frankly astonished me, astonished my dad and mom and my buddies again in South Dakota. I caught the merry-go-round and I used to be in the best place on the proper time.”
Requested how he was feeling, Brokaw mentioned, “blended, frankly.” He was recognized in 2013 with a number of myeloma, an incurable blood most cancers that impacts the bone marrow, and this has led to painful again surgical procedure. He acquired his first dose of COVID vaccine this previous week.
David Bauder, The Related Press