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Brokaw: Producing News Like Changing Tires on a Truck Going 80 MPH

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw, left, receives the 2013 Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting from his former NBC News colleague Marvin Kalb.

April 16, 2013 – Longtime former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw told a Georgetown audience yesterday that news outlets must do a better job at explaining global events.

“By the time all of you come to “Nightly News,” “Meet the Press,” “The Today Show” at 7 o’clock in the morning, you [already] know what happened because of the huge amount of information that’s out there,” Brokaw said.  “…producing these nightly broadcasts for the whole world and what’s going on within it is like changing tires on a truck going 80 miles per hour.”

Brokaw was on campus yesterday to receive the 2013 Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting, awarded annually to one or more journalists for distinguished reporting on foreign policy and diplomacy.

NBC Nightly News anchor from 1982 to 2004, Brokaw and former CBS and NBC news reporter Marvin Kalb discussed the future of diplomatic reporting, including challenges news outlets face covering foreign affairs to what the advancement of social media means to reporting.

Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and the Weintal Trustees co-presented the event. Kalb is chair of the trustees.

Brokaw also talked about the Boston Marathon bombing, which occurred earlier in the day and how complex the world has become since his days as a correspondent.

“It does seem to me that [the bombing] is a reflection of the world in which we now live,” he said. “And it is so much different than the world that I anchored as a professional correspondent and the challenges are greater with every day.”

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