Retiring Tom Brokaw: Journalists should get out of power centers
Image via AP.

Tom Brokaw
Also thinks anti-press sentiment now 'baked in.'

If Tom Brokaw has one piece of advice to leave for television journalists upon his retirement, it’s to get out to more of the country — and not just to visit.

The Capitol insurrection is but one example of a story that might not have seemed as much a surprise if more journalists were attuned to communities outside of the power centers, the veteran NBC newsman said.

Television news is “much, much too wedded to the East Coast and West Coast only” and needs to expand its presence across the country.

“Take some of the people who are only in Washington and send them to Salt Lake City or Kansas City, or St. Louis for that matter,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Brokaw, who turns 81 next month, announced last week that he’s retiring from NBC News, where he worked for 55 years. He said he’s been overwhelmed and heartened by the outpouring of good wishes from colleagues and people who watched him on TV for many of those years.

He’s been away from the power centers himself, and hasn’t been to New York since before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. He has split time between homes in Montana and Florida.

His advice to the industry he’s leaving behind has nothing to do with the sort of they-don’t-make-’em-like-they-used-to criticism you might get from older people in any business. Brokaw said he’s impressed with the work of young journalists at NBC News and elsewhere, and is invested in seeing them succeed.

He believes a reorientation can take place without a significant outlay of money for an industry that has seen a two-decade decline in local news coverage.

“I don’t want to knock what they’re doing now because they get on an airplane and go to these places and they do a good job,” he said. “But I always found it was best to invest yourself in different parts of the country and get to know the politics and culture.”

He’s pessimistic about a change in the public’s attitude toward the press after four years in which President Donald Trump considered journalists the enemy.

“I don’t think there will be a full recovery,” he said. “I think this is baked in.”

Brokaw has kept busy in the years since he stepped down as “NBC Nightly News” anchor in 2004, doing documentaries, appearing on “Morning Joe” and the network during newsy occasions for commentary and writing. He’s finishing a book about his parents and their life growing up during the Depression in South Dakota.


Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Ron Ogden

    February 1, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Not possible. “Journalists” take their cues from a cabal of urban bigots who not only despise Americans who live in the countryside but actively blame them for what they see as the moral faults of the nation. Read “Salon” in the past couple days about how the Republican Party is the party of “rural” people and attitudes. And, yes, it is bigotry, the bigotry of the urban aristocracy toward mainstream Americans. Just take a good, unblinkered look at St. Petersburg’s cultural elites to appreciate what I mean.

  • John McMahon

    February 1, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Today’s leftist media giants with their sheep journalists and the Democrat party corrupted grifter leadership , are the exact same thing. That’s not a mystery, just a pathetic political realty. TRUMP , whom they used to like when he supported Democrat politicians, now HATE because he revealed the manipulation of every news story , like the public brainwashing and crafting of each narrative you can witness everyday. Just like the anti-Trump stories on this website. They weren’t ready for this guy and thought they got rid of him even BEFORE the 2016 Republican Primary! The FBI failed, the CIA failed, NSA failed , John McCain FAILED, Hollywierd failed, the globalist Sorros Obama administration FAILED, the hoax media failed, the Chinese spies like Sen. Eric Swallows failed! But just like when Tyson Fury, who got knocked OUT and flattened to the canvas by the monster puncher Deonte Wilder, opened his eyes, sat up, then won the last round by smacking poor Deonte around like a third rate sparing partner!. You can file FAKE impeachment proceedings against him with zero evidence, try to frame him with zero evidence, you can smear him with zero evidence,and steal the election then COVER UP and censor the evidence with your media hacks for NOW, but apparently you’re making him stronger EVERY day. Thank you!!!!!!

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