60 Minutes

  • Category: American History
  • Words: 916
  • Grade: 100
60 Minutes



Television news programs portray life in cities. They headline only what will sell to their fans. This form of broadcasting news programming is effective because pictures with story lines change our societies views on subjects and even give us light on urban societies we know nothing about. Since 1968 America has been better enlightened than previously concerning current events and happenings around the world. A considerable factor is the television program 60 Minutes, which debuted on the air in September of 1968. Many other television news programs have been produced since its creation, however none have possessed the longevity or the influence on societies as 60 Minutes. 60 Minutes, which is owned by CBS News, was the first regular network news program to cover actual stories as opposed to topics. Today similar news programs can be seen every night of the week on various stations showing urban problems all of which were sparked by the foundation of 60 Minutes. All of the tabloid television programs being shown today are also a result of 60 Minutes and its bold style of television journalism. 60 Minutes changed the way that the American public receives its television news.
60 Minutes gave the viewing public what it craved; shocking interviews and investigations which led to the uncovering of crooks, terrorists, and swindlers. Witnessing doors being slammed in a reporter's face became customary to the show. Before 1968 the nightly news would simply broadcast headlines comparable to reading a newspaper. 60 Minutes became a television news program offering the reader revealing camera stories about happenings around the world. Viewers of the show became better informed to actual business, political, and science practices that go on throughout our lives. 60 Minutes had a dramatic impact on the television industry and the viewing habits of American people. If viewers were to scan through a TV index today they would see that nearly all channels are infested with talk shows, tabloid programs, interviews of famous people, and other "caught on tape" types of programs, all of which derived elements from 60 Minutes. 60 Minutes set a new standard for presenting the public with groundbreaking stories and hardcore news. The shows that were influenced by 60 Minutes such as the many tabloid programs being shown today; built off the 60 Minutes principles, created gossip, and shocking video segments. Still other shows, including the interview programs borrowed from 60 Minutes method of grilling the interviewee. In this interview that I had seen with Dan Rather and President Richard Nixon during his downfall, Rather riled up Nixon enough to prompt the question from him "Are you running for something?" And Rather shot back, "No sir, Mr. President are you?" This shows the problems of society. How can Americans achieve in life if the leader of our country is corrupt. Tough reporting, taped evidence of scams, and in depth stories of current events are essentially what brought 60 Minutes much success. 60 Minutes keeps its viewers up to date on current events with the same tough reporting methods. 60 Minutes covered the tragic Oklahoma City bombing and featured an interview with President Clinton. Following the bombing report a story about the Michigan Militia, who are believed to have enacted in this bombing. Coverage of these extremists brought much insight into who these militia groups are and what they are all about. 60 Minutes is a valuable resource for understanding what is happening in the United States and globally. Other networks caught on quick that shocking stories is what people want. The tabloid television news programs were created using the same techniques that made 60 Minutes so unique, however they go for the Hollywood scene reporting on the latest gossip. Every aspect of the O.J. Simpson trial dominated the current tabloid programs at that time essentially proving that the American public wants actual stories instead of fiction.
        A few programs have successfully incorporated the 60 Minutes brand of reporting. The ABC television program 20/20 first aired in 1978, and still today it is regarded as a quality news source showing what is going on in our urban societies. Frontline is a top-notch PBS new program that has been around since 1983. ET (Entertainment Tonight) has found much success with its brand of news as well. These programs try to reach out to viewers to help them understand the crisis and dilemmas of other cities of the world that most know nothing about.
        By setting new journalistic standards, 60 Minutes was able to influence all other news programs to follow. Many news programs have come and gone in through the years proceeding 60 minutes, all of which borrowed something along the way. Today more than ever it is easy to see that people want real world stories, and the television news program provides this for the viewer complete with unbelievable video footage and ground breaking stories. 60 Minutes invented this form of service for the public and they have received proper recognition for this. 60 Minutes introduced a new form of television broadcasting news that affected the world and even today is looked at as a standard for quality news coverage.
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