ASU’s Cronkite School Reflects On Namesake’s Delivery Of Kennedy News

November 22, 2013

(Photo by Julie Levin-KJZZ)
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication building in downtown Phoenix.

“President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. central standard time, 2 o’clock eastern standard time, some 38 minutes ago," the words of CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, 50 years ago, announcing the death of President John F. Kennedy.

As the country remembers on Friday, Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism is looking back at its namesake. Assistant Dean Kristen Gilger said Cronkite’s coverage of Kennedy’s death left a lot of lessons for today’s journalists.

 “It’s a remarkable example of both showing human caring and emotion and being a professional about it and not panicking people at the same time,” Gilger said. “He was calm. He set an example.”

Gilger said Cronkite’s reluctance to announce Kennedy’s death before it was known for certain and his humanity came through on camera and comforted a nation.

In observance of the anniversary, the school is showing the CBS News broadcast coverage of Kennedy’s assassination, in its entirety, starting at 11:40 a.m., the exact same day and time as it originally aired in 1963. That includes coverage of JFK’s funeral on Monday.