I was really excited when I found out that Bob Schieffer was going to speak to us during our class time on Monday. I had a lot of friends and peers who were talking about his visit to the school to receive the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and we’re dying to hear his talk at the Luncheon, much less get to ask him a question in a small, private setting.
I had planned on taking a few key notes on our session with him, but ended up writing down a hundred things that upon re-reading them we’re incredibly pointless. I was blown away by the way he presented all of his information. Even the most insignificant thing he said was scribbled down in fury by at least 3 or 4 people in the room.
That isn’t to say that he didn’t say anything significant, of course. He said many wonderful things, but two things that he said in particular during his speech caught my attention.
One thing that really stood out to me while he spoke was when he said, “If the railroads had realized that they were in the transportation business and not the railroad business they would own all the airlines” when responding to a question on whether or not CBS had started to adopt digital platforms for their news. I thought that this was incredibly insightful because, well, it’s true. Journalism has looked past basic reporting and writing, that is, trains, and graduated into a world where news is interactive and immediate.
I also found it interesting when he said, “I’m sorry I wrote a long speech today, but I didn’t have the time to write a short one.” While humorous, I think it brilliantly illustrates the influence of powerful, concise, and good writing.
I really enjoyed the time our class got to spend listening to Bob talk, and send my warmest congratulations to him for his award.