The National Press Club Journalism Institute is joining forces with the family of broadcast legend Edward R. Murrow and 2020 National Press Club President Michael Freedman this fall to produce a series of webinars titled “Why Murrow Matters: Ethics in an age of disinformation.”
Under a newly approved grant from Oklahoma City based Inasmuch Foundation, the Institute will develop and host a series of four discussion-oriented webinars providing practical lessons in exercising ethical journalistic decision-making in a time of technological innovation and disinformation campaigns.
“The final cog in the wheel is having the courage of your convictions to implement the tools provided in taking the ethical high road,” Freedman said. “There is no shortage of great reporters and great reporting today. What we need is more confident, committed leadership in the search for truth and accuracy. We hope this series will build on our strengths to meet the significant challenges ahead.”
The series is named for Edward R. Murrow, who invented broadcast journalism for radio, perfected it for television, reported some of the world’s most critical moments of the 20th Century, and ethically took on McCarthyism. Murrow recognized the centrality of ethical journalism.
As bad actors take advantage of fear tactics and new technology that enables them to spread messages with impunity, this series will reintroduce Murrow’s work ethic while emphasizing modern challenges and solutions.
“Journalists must constantly evolve, and the information landscape they are navigating using new skills and tools sometimes can feel as if it’s fighting against them,” said NPCJI Executive Director Beth Francesco. “We’re pleased to develop this series at the right time and magnitude to bolster the profession’s strong ethical foundation as journalists everywhere face new challenges. It’s an honor to bring the Why Murrow Matters program to life, honoring Mr. Murrow’s pioneering legacy while finding solutions to our modern ethical trials.”
Series topics will include:
- Framing the disinformation crisis
- Building a culture of credibility and trust
- Media/information literacy in ethical civic engagement
- Why Murrow Matters in the digital age
The series, free to professionals in the field, as well as high school and college students and the public, will begin in the fall. Panelists will include contemporary leaders in journalism, experts in areas including artificial intelligence, educators, and religious/civic leaders.
Among those slated to participate are educator Casey Murrow, the son of the legendary broadcaster; journalist Marvin Kalb, the last correspondent personally hired at CBS News by Murrow; Freedman, the former general manager of CBS Radio Network; and several current members of the National Press Club leadership including 2023 President Eileen O’Reilly, managing editor of standards and training at Axios.
For periodic updates on the series, including event announcements, please complete this brief form. If you’d like to financially support this and other Institute programs, please consider a donation today or email Institute Executive Director Beth Francesco.
“Edward R. Murrow once said, ‘The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.’,” Casey Murrow noted. “The Murrow family is pleased to participate in the “Why Murrow Matters” project to offer the tools needed to counter the rapid spread of disinformation and to help current and future reporters uphold the highest journalistic standards that shaped Ed Murrow’s work.”
Institute President Gil Klein commended the Inasmuch Foundation for supporting the webinar series and serving as a key partner in National Press Club and Institute projects for nearly 20 years.
“We welcome this grant at this most important time for journalism and democracy to educate journalists in maintaining high ethical standards to assure the public that the news they get is factual and fair,” Klein said.
The webinars will debut in Fall 2023. For periodic updates on the series, including event announcements, please complete this brief form. If you’d like to financially support this and other Institute programs, please consider a donation today or email Institute Executive Director Beth Francesco.