JFK Murder Marked Media Shift From Press to Broadcast


Six seconds in Dallas 50 years ago today changed the way media worked for decades to come, says Reuters. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, was a transformative live, global TV news event. It swept an industry without a playbook for covering a breaking story of such magnitude and utterly changed how people receive their news. For four days, major U.S. TV networks went live with wall-to-wall coverage, suspending commercials.

“The Kennedy assassination became the template for coverage,” said Bob Schieffer, who 50 years ago covered the event for the Fort Worth Star Telegram and is now a veteran broadcaster with CBS. Newspapers and radio were the main sources of news the day before the assassination, but the pendulum had swung. “This is when America became a TV nation,” said Patty Rhule, a senior manager of exhibits at the Newseum in Washington.

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