I'm sure by now most of you have read about Bob Simon's death in an auto accident. I was reading through some of the comments on the CBS site and I was struck by the contrast of Simon's motivations with those of Brian Williams:
RIP Bob.More and more, we are losing the Bob Simon brand of journalist. We are losing the men and women who put the premium on the story and not on themselves. They are retiring. They are dying. They are giving in to the pressures and duality of the celebrity newsman and walking away from the values that once made them great.
A few years ago, a newsroom intern was asked what she wanted to do after graduation. Without missing a beat, she said "I want to be on TV." Too often, that what's driving our business. The desire to be front and center. The desire to make yourself the star. The narcissism of news poses a significant risk to the vital duty we purport to enshrine. "I" and "Me" have replaced "they" and "this."
Bob Simon was a star, but he was not the star of his pieces. The characters -- not the reporter -- were always at the heart of them. There are still men and women who follow this model. There are still good journalists who happen to work in TV. But every year, their numbers are dwindling, and today they're down by one.