Murrow, the Blitz and the Race to War

Edward R. Murrow

Murrow's broadcasts during the Blitz brought home the crisis as Europe deepened into war. Library of Congress hide caption

itoggle caption Library of Congress

With the words, "This is London," Edward R. Murrow brought the war in Europe to the living rooms of Americans. His rooftop reports of the Blitz helped define broadcast journalism.

Starting in 1939, Murrow's vivid reports explained the importance of developments in far-off countries, and, particularly during the Blitz, the German effort to bomb the British into submission. Murrow brought the violence and emotion of the war to American airwaves.

Author Philip Seib talks about his new book, Broadcasts from the Blitz: How Edward R. Murrow Helped Lead America into War. The book raises serious questions about ethics, objectivity and detachment. Considering the alternative, was there really a choice? And, given Rwanda, Darfur and the Balkans, what does Murrow's example say about taking sides in journalism?

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