In the 1950s we might have needed a guy on one of the three television channels to tell us that there are protests going on somewhere. Today, we don’t. We already get the facts elsewhere, in real-time. What television excels at is day after day providing interconnected and continuous stories. It’s why great television often leaves great film gasping at the complexity and depth possible on the small screen. Pining for Murrow is misguided nostalgia. We don’t need Murrow on the air so much as we need master storytellers. Right now those guys exist, but they’ve only got two story lines, and they both suck.
The news can be fixed, but not by going backward, and not by emulating the wrong things. It needs to evolve into something new, something that you can’t wait to watch every night to see what happens next.