[NPC Logo] Don Hewitt

Not Everything Need Be Televised

"Television cameras do not have to go everywhere," Don Hewitt, executive producer of CBS's "60 Minutes" told the Oct. 17 NPC luncheon audience, referring to the O.J. Simpson trial. "This was a television show. The courtroom is a good place to keep cameras out of." He said courts are not television studios and the recent spectacle did a disservice to television, the judicial system and the American people. Instead, he suggested, the press --and that includes TV newspersons--should simply report on what is transpiring.

With "60 Minutes" now in its 28th season, Hewitt said "I'll put those five 'guys' up against any kids in television today." He did, however, add that besides them collectively, Peter Jennings and Ted Koppel, both of ABC News, come the closest to the legendary Edward R. Murrow among the current crop of broadcast journalists. Although nobody bgcolor="#FFFFFF" ever said "make us money", Hewitt recounted, "60 Minutes" has contributed $1.5 billion in pure profit.

He noted the day of the network newscast might be coming to an end because of the need for local stations to compete with CNN's global news coverage. "Whatever the sins of local news are," he submitted, "they are miniscule compared to those of talk shows."

National Press Club Record, Volume XLV, No. 39. Oct. 26, 1995.

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