March 6, 1981 – the Day Walter Cronkite Signed off for Good
Those of us who grew before the creation of the Internet, we got our news by sitting down each night and spending time with a guy by the name of Walter Cronkite. At the time he was referred to as 'The Most Trusted Man in America."
I can still remember it like it was yesterday - sitting down for supper and watching the news. Mom would dish up the food while Dad would make sure the TV rabbit ears were just right so we could watch the news without too much "snow" as we used to say.
Walter Cronkite was the type of journalist that you don't see much of these days. He just told you the news. He never felt the need to let you know what he was thinking about a particular story. Unlike today, when pretty much everyone on TV needs to "add their two-cents" - or so it seems. Walter Cronkite just gave you the news straight up.
In fact, I can still remember the day when Cronkite signed off the air for the last time. I was a freshman at South Dakota State University majoring in broadcast journalism, and part of my homework was to watch the CBS Evening News for his farewell.
Following is the YouTube clip of him signing off and handing the baton to Dan Rather.
I doubt there will ever be another Walter Cronkite. In this day-in-age of the Internet and social media and everyone "needing to be heard", I doubt it's even possible for such a journalist to make it in the business today - and I miss that type of journalist.
Thank you Walter Cronkite for telling us the news each night without feeling the need to throw in your opinion or try to sway us one way or the other. That's the way it was - the way the news was meant to be presented, the Walter Cronkite way.