"Television has changed journalism utterly, as it's changed the whole culture. To have been able for a few years to hold the line against a tide that's going to engulf us all in the end has been a source of gratification to me."
About This Interview
In his seven-hour Archive interview, Robert MacNeil speaks about his long and illustrious career in journalism, starting in London with Independent Television (ITV) and later with Reuters. He recalls being hired at the NBC bureau in London, covering the Berlin crisis (when the Berlin wall was erected) and reporting on the Cuban Missile Crisis (from inside Cuba). He details his move to Washington D.C., where he covered the Kennedy assassination in Dallas (unknowingly meeting Lee Harvey Oswald) and the Civil Rights Movement in the South. He recounts covering Lyndon Johnson, as well as the presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater in 1964 and reporting on the downfall of Richard Nixon. MacNeil outlines his work on NBC's The Huntley-Brinkley Report, where he acted as a "roving reporter" and talks about leaving NBC and his work with the BBC. He discusses the beginnings of his partnership with Jim Lehrer and recounts stories from The MacNeil Lehrer Report (later the MacNeil Lehrer Newshour). He speaks of his more recent work as a novelist and finally comments on the then-current and future state of network news. Don Carleton conducted the interview on November 18, 2000 and May 15, 2001 in New York City, New York.