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Heyward Hands Out Katrina Kudos

CBS News President Andrew Heyward said TV news' outstanding coverage of Hurricane Katrina proves mainstream media isn’t losing its place to emerging Internet news sources. “No one on the Internet could match what the network and cable news did,” Heyward said at the RTNDA/UNITY and Edward R. Murrow Awards dinner Monday night in Manhattan.

Heyward said some news executives joked that “network news assignment editors should have been running FEMA, and I agree.” Heyward accepted CBS’ Murrow award for overall excellence. During Katrina, he said, “Journalists had the courage to speak truth to power.”

ABC News’ World News Tonight was recognized as best TV network newscast and executive producer Jon Banner accepted the award on behalf of the late Peter Jennings.

Actor David Strathairn, who plays Murrow in the new movie Good Night, and Good Luck, who spoke briefly at the dinner, said producer George Clooney, who also stars in the film, made the movie as a tribute to his father, former news anchor Nick Clooney, who considered Murrow one of his heroes.

“In many ways, this was an act of love that we all felt was the result of what Murrow loved--truth in journalism and telling stories for the common good,” Strathairn said.

Radio and TV journalists from across the country were on hand to accept their 2005 Murrow Awards and UNITY honors, some of which were handed out by NBC News’ John Seigenthaler and CNN anchor Miles O’Brien.