Academic journal article Journalism History

Electronic Media Reviews -- 60 Minutes: 25 Years Narrated by Charles Kuralt

Academic journal article Journalism History

Electronic Media Reviews -- 60 Minutes: 25 Years Narrated by Charles Kuralt

Article excerpt

"60 Minutes: 25 Years." Beverly Hills, Calif,: CBS News/Fox Home Video, 1993. 95 Minutes $19.95.

Despite "60 Minutes" reputation for playing hardball with world leaders, the program turns to slow-pitch here when telling its own story. Through Charles Kuralt's folksy narrative, this video serves mainly as an entertaining look at the program's twenty-five year history, its anchors, and their experiences. The video accomplishes that goal quite well, allowing Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Ed Bradley, Lesley Stahl, Steve Kroft and Andy Rooney to revisit their years with the program, along with comments by their coworkers and the people they have interviewed.

From a viewer's perspective, the video becomes a happy recap of the people and issues of the past two-and-a-half decades. We see Wallace chatting with Barbra Streisand and Oprah Winfrey reflecting on unfounded fears about her talk show. We see society's heroes and its victims. We see a few tense moments, too, such as Bradley's interview with a prisoner who lofts a pen to demonstrate how he stabbed a fellow inmate.

Throughout, the anchors discuss their approach to interviewing and comment on how they perceive their colleagues' work. Stahl tells how she stood up to Ross Perot when he tried to call off an interview. We learn what it was like to interview personalities as diverse as Fidel Castro and Jackie Gleason. The program's creator and executive producer, Don Hewitt, raves and argues with the talent "60 Minutes" alums Diane Sawyer and Dan Rather observe a brief homecoming.

The video often uses a follow-up story approach to add perspective and interest. …

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