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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 30, 1997)
Moyers offers advice
to college journalists
By Brian Carlson
Journalists can and must tell the
day’s important stories in a way that is
interesting and meaningful, docu
mentarian and author Bill Moyers
But, said Moyers, speaking to
journalism students in Avery Hall,
industry trends are making it more
difficult for journalists to produce
the kinds of substantial, in-depth
stories that have marked his own
Moyers, best known for his
documentaries, said the media too
often discard the serious and com
plex in favor of the soft and senti
“It’s always easy and satisfying to
please the public,” he said. “It’s very
difficult, but crucial, to inform
Critics have praised Moyers for
his ability to draw his audience’s
attention to some of today’s most
Moyers has produced more than
200 Droeramminp hours winninp
more than 30 Emmy Awards and
other accolades. “The Public Mind,”
“Amazing Grace,” “What Can We Do
About Violence?” and the series “A
World of Ideas” are some of the spe
cials he has produced.
He was also the senior news ana
lyst for the “CBS Evening News” and
chief correspondent for the docu
mentary series “CBS Reports.”
Through his career, Moyers said,
he has been able to feed his own
desire to learn.
“What I love about this business
is that it keeps me a perpetual stu
dent,” he said.
But Moyers said it is becoming
more difficult for serious journalists
to find an outlet for their work.
Because media owners are con
cerned with profits and public
interest surveys, Moyers said, their
ideas of what should be reported are
often in conflict with those of
As a result, news coverage has
shifted away from a comprehensive
look at the day’s most important
issues to an emphasis on feature sto
ries, he said.
Asked by a student if the shift was
justified because the media are trying
to give the public what it wants,
Moyers said journalists have a
responsibility to decide what makes
After picking out the day’s most
important developments, journalists
should think critically about the
news, and tell the public what they
clinnlH tn Ka ir»fr\rmaH r*itir7Ar»e
Moyers also responded to a stu
dent who asked whether journalists’
work should place a “mirror to the
Journalists should do more than
just “pan over” society and present a
superficial view, he said. Moyers
said journalists should tell stories
that are thought-provoking and
“The job of the journalist is not to
get to the generalization,” he said,
“but to the heart, plot and narrative of
the story that you think is most
Moyers was in Lincoln to speak
at a benefit for Nebraska Educational
Public Television on Monday night.
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