Friday, March 7, 2014

REFLECTIONS ON A NEWS CAREER (NOT MINE)

BILL MCLAUGHLIN, FORMER CBS NEWS
CORRESPONDENT DIES AT 76
Bob Gibson, magnificent chronicler of all things broadcasting, caught me up on this release from CBS News, an obituary for a fine broadcast journalist.
I did not know Bill, but I remember his work from Vietnam and the Middle East.  He was  the very model of a television foreign correspondent, even down to looking great in a trench coat.  His reports looked even better.
But this is what in the obit caught me:   "McLaughlin joined CBS News as a reporter in 1966 in Paris.  His reporting from Europe, the Middle East, Cyprus and Athens earned him a promotion to correspondent and the title of bureau chief in Bonn, Germany in 1968.  He served there until being sent to cover the Vietnam War in 1969.   After leaving the Saigon Bureau in June 1970, he was sent back in 1972 to cover the North Vietnamese offensive and the battles for Hue and Kontum City. He returned once more in 1975 to report on the fall of Vietnam and Cambodia.
"In 1971, he was named bureau chief in Beirut, from which he covered conflicts in the Middle East, including the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.  He also reported from the Six-Day War in 1967, the conflict between India and Pakistan in 1971 and the aftermath of the attack by the Black September Group, the Palestinian terrorists who killed 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. The Olympic terror coverage won an Overseas Press Club award.
"McLaughlin was the reporter in the June 1974 CBS Reports: “The Palestinians,” which won the OPC’s award for Best TV Documentary on World Affairs that year.  The next year he landed an interview with Arabia’s King Faisal that turned out to be the king’s last filmed interview with a foreign journalist before his assassination. McLaughlin’s report became a central part of the CBS News Special Report, 'Death of a King: What Changes for the Arab World?'”  
Will there ever be careers like this again in television news?  Will correspondents ever gain the depth of knowledge and experience that allows them to capture both what is happening in a foreign location and why?
And, bottom line, I guess one could say, will the American people ever benefit from knowledge, experience and dedication to craft like that which Bill McLaughlin, over the years, developed? 

And notice, Bill didn't just report from just about everywhere, he did long-term investigative projects, like that into Black September, and in-depth interviews like that with Saudi King Faisal, and broadcast documentaries, like the one that pondered the possible consequences of the king's death.  Who at CBS News gets to do any of that anymore?  Who, anywhere in TV news can help Americans understand their world like Bill did?
Having said that, let me say that Simon Ostrovsky's reporting from Crimea for Vice News (check 'em out -- where else? --  on Youtube!!) seems to me up to that Hall of Fame standard, especially his longest, Dispatch #3.   
Below is CBS News' full obituary for McLaughlin.
Bill McLaughlin, an award-winning diplomatic and foreign correspondent who headed bureaus in Germany and Lebanon for CBS News in the late 1960s and ‘70s died early this morning (7).  He was 76 and lived in France.    McLaughlin died from cardiac arrest in a Waterbury, Conn., hospital.  He was visiting friends in the U.S.
McLaughlin’s television news career spanned 27 years, nearly all of it with CBS News; he left for two years in late 1979 to report for NBC News as its United Nations correspondent.
He spent a decade overseas on his CBS news assignments, including the Paris bureau, where he met his wife, the former Huguette Cord’homme, who survives him. He covered the gamut of overseas events, from the Vietnam War, to terrorism to the conflicts in the war-torn Middle East, appearing on the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite,” CBS Radio News  and other CBS News broadcasts, include “CBS Reports” documentaries.
From 1983 to 1993, when he left CBS news, he was a State Department correspondent, and general assignment reporter in the Washington Bureau.  This job, too, sent him overseas on a regular basis, covering the diplomatic travels of secretaries of state, including George Shultz.
McLaughlin joined CBS News as a reporter in 1966 in Paris.  His reporting from Europe, the Middle East, Cyprus and Athens earned him a promotion to correspondent and the title of bureau chief in Bonn, Germany in 1968.  He served there until being sent to cover the Vietnam War in 1969.   After leaving the Saigon Bureau in June 1970, he was sent back in 1972 to cover the North Vietnamese offensive and the battles for Hue and Kontum City. He returned once more in 1975 to report on the fall of Vietnam and Cambodia.
In 1971, he was named bureau chief in Beirut, from which he covered conflicts in the Middle East, including the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.  He also reported from the Six-Day War in 1967, the conflict between India and Pakistan in 1971 and the aftermath of the attack by the Black September Group, the Palestinian terrorists who killed 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. The Olympic terror coverage won an Overseas Press Club award.
McLaughlin was the reporter in the June 1974 CBS Reports: “The Palestinians,” which won the OPC’s award for Best TV Documentary on World Affairs that year.  The next year he landed an interview with Arabia’s King Faisal that turned out to be the king’s last filmed interview with a foreign journalist before his assassination. McLaughlin’s report became a central part of the CBS News Special Report, “Death of a King: What Changes for the Arab World?”
Before joining CBS News, he held several posts in Europe, including covering the Common Market from Brussels for various American business magazines and for Radio Press International. After leaving, he was an associate professor of Communication at Quinnipiac  University in Connecticut.
McLaughlin was born on April 21, 1937 in New York City, where he graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor in science degree in 1961. He also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. He served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to ’56.
Besides his wife, he also leaves behind a son, Liam, and his wife Joslyn, of New York City; a granddaughter, Jolie, also of New York; and a stepson in Paris, Julien Bodard.
 

2 comments:

  1. See Simon Ostrovsky's reporting from Crimea for Vice News that Dave mentions here: https://news.vice.com/video/russian-roulette-the-invasion-of-ukraine-dispatch-three

    ReplyDelete