Tim Russert was one of the few remaining shining stars, in my opinion.or the sake of TV journalism,
Yes, I am a fan. Tim Russert died Friday at the age of 58 in the NBC Washington studios after taping segments for this weekend’s shows – Meet the Press and Tim Russert.
Russert produced great television, whether it was for Today, MSNBC or Meet The Press. Certainly, even more impressive about Russert was his love for his family and friends. In that respect, he was even more of a giant.
Lots of lessons to learn from this sad loss. For PR students, it can serve as a call to gaining great lessons from Russert, even though he has passed. His remarkable grasp of history and perspective is, after all, one of the characteristics that made Russert so great.
You know, I fear that students today – especially some PR students – are not the news junkies (particularly hard news and politics) that we oldsters developed into. I hope that students will go back and watch old Meet The Press programs (they are on iTunes, for free). You don’t need an iPod, just your computer. Search for NBC News and you’ll find the podcasts. Another resource? Quite simply, and I know this might sound strange to some – at first, this page – the New York Times Obituary page – should be daily reading for all students of PR and journalism. It is, after all, a page filled with history and great people. My point? Read, read and read some more. Watch the videos. Consume the news. Gain that historical perspective we all need.
Russert is, in his own way, showed as much promise as classic news presences like Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid and Howard K. Smith. He was just taken too soon. He was as great as, if not better than, the other legends in Sunday morning talk like Bill Shadel, Lawerence Spivak and all who followed them.
His shows were must watch, required viewing programs. If you, like me, are a news junkie, Russert was someone you had to watch, even as much as you wanted to watch. Russert knew when to sit back and let people talk, especially when he knew it would mean their own undoing. His questioning skills / interviewing prowess was quite simply amazing.
For NBC – especially MSNBC, the loss is devastating. Only Tom Brokaw remains as someone that can come on the air and you know, you absolutely trust, the truth is being told. Oh, there are certainly other trustworthy people at NBC, to be sure. But, no one there has the presence of Russert and Brokaw.
The New York Times has a photo slideshow of Tim Russert memories. The Washington Post has a great series of video interview clips that share Russert’s wonderful personality. MSNBC has spent the entire weekend saluting Russert’s great contributions to TV journalism and his love of family and friends. Truly, to watch all of those from that tight NBC family react to Russert’s passing, this loss represents a terrible blow to their very foundation. Here’s hoping they can recover.
Russert will be missed. One can only hope that those that remain behind will endeavor to follow his example – in every way, be it work, family or life, overall.