Peter Jennings wasn’t so much a giant as he was a constant – a familiar face and soothing, suave voice that was with us during the rise and more recent fall of network news.
Others got better Q Ratings but few had more reporting experience. Jennings, along with CBS’ Dan Rather and NBC’s Tom Brokaw, was part of TV journalism’s holy trinity that personified traditional network news for decades. With his passing at age 67 – relatively young in news years – Jennings leaves a news business forever changed by shifts in societal tastes and technology, though nevertheless in need for the kind of stability and common sense only a Peter Jennings could provide, night after night.
Television journalism today is an abyss. Jennings was an anachronism, a casualty of cable news and infotainment enterprises that reduced serious news gathering to water cooler prattle and anointed everyday idiots to overnight celebrity status. He was an experienced voice in an industry that valued pretense over actual knowledge.
Peter Jennings will be missed – and so will the age of television journalism he represented, the likes of which we may never see again.