Barrett wins Murrow award

Wilton’s own national news correspondent Dave Barrett will take home his third Edward R. Murrow award on Oct. 12.
The Murrows are awarded by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for “outstanding achievements in electronic journalism,” as put by the RTDNA website, and are given in a variety of categories.
Barrett won this year’s Feature Award for his “creative use of both music and interview clips that brought to life his story about last September’s 200th anniversary of The Star-Spangled Banner,” according to a press release.
The piece, only one minute and 19 seconds in length, tells the history of our nation’s anthem, utilizing soundbites from Jennifer Jones of the Smithsonian, R&B singer Brian McKnight, Whitney Houston and, of course, himself.
It begins with the tale of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the anthem, originally a poem, on a piece of parchment when he was moved by the sight of the American Flag still waving at Fort McHenry after 48 hours of British bombardment during the War of 1812. Barrett spliced his own words with those of Jennifer Jones to tell the story in a matter of seconds.
“Brian McKnight has sung it at NFL games,” continues Barrett in the broadcast, following the statement up with a clip from the first line of McKnight’s performance.
But before the line is finished, Barrett inserts a clip of McKnight speaking about his own rendition, saying, “If you can’t feel that enough to sing it the way he wrote it...” McKnight then sings the second half of the line, before resuming talking: “...and what it’s meant for 200 years now, then you shouldn’t be singing this song.”
Barrett told The Bulletin he felt McKnight’s words were more properly given than his own.
“I want people to tell the story. I could say it, but I don’t want to say it. I want McKnight to. It’s so much better that way.”
The broadcast continues.
“She may have sung it best,” says Barrett.
He then plays the finale of Whitney Houston’s historic performance at Tampa Stadium, and lets it run as he says, “Whitney Houston, Super Bowl 25, during the first Gulf War. It still brings those 200-year-old lyrics alive. Dave Barrett; CBS News.”

Dave Barrett


Barrett is on the air every weekday from 5:30 in the morning until 11:30, at the top and bottom of every half-hour. “I have a deadline every 30 minutes,” he said.
But Barrett is not phased by that pressure.
“I love deadlines,” he mentioned, adding that “they don’t pay (him) to panic.”
Barrett also has one minute of the eight-minute CBS World News Roundup, the nation’s longest-running network news program.
He also anchors his own show entitled The Observation Deck, which airs on Wednesday mornings.
He described his style as “conversational.” Barrett started out as a sportscaster in Texas, and when he came to CBS, Vice President of Radio Harvey Nagler said to him, “We want you to do news like you did sports: Just talk.”
“I want to tell you what’s going on. I’m not talking to millions of people; I’m talking to you ,” said Barrett.
Barrett spoke highly of his superior, saying: “If I were a football player and he was my coach, I’d run through a wall for him.”
But what Barrett stressed the most was his love for what he does.
“Even on my worst day, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else,” he said confidently.
In a career spanning 30 years, Barrett has worked for a number of networks.
Before joining CBS News, Radio in February 2001, he was the first-ever news director for the Fox News Radio Network for three years.
Prior to his time at Fox, Barrett reported for ABC Radio News for 15 years. Among other things, he covered political conventions, hurricanes, and the Olympics.
From 1993 to 1994, Barrett left ABC to work for ESPN Radio, where he commented on Super Bowls, the NCAA Final Four, the British Open, Wimbledon, the NBA finals and the Kentucky Derby.
Barrett was based in Bahrain in the Persian Gulf during Operation Earnest Will in 1988 in a location where oil tankers were escorted across the Gulf to Kuwait. He then covered the allied buildup during Operation Desert Shield in 1990.
Before getting into news broadcasting, Barrett was the play-by-play announcer of the Houston Apollos and a public address announcer for the Astros, the Rockets, the Houston Oilers, the WHA Houston Aeros and the University of Houston.
His other Murrows were in 1998 for Sports Reporting for a profile on Tiger Woods, and in 2011 for Use of Sound, for his story on Kids’ Digital Day.

Edward R. Murrow


The awards are named for CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow, known for his radio broadcasts from the front lines of Europe during World War II and television coverage of the Joseph McCarthy era.
His other Murrows were in 1998 for Sports Reporting for a profile on Tiger Woods, and in 2011 for Use of Sound, for his story on Kids’ Digital Day.

Edward R. Murrow


The awards are named for CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow, known for his radio broadcasts from the front lines of Europe during World War II and television coverage of the Joseph McCarthy era.
According to a report by PBS, “Perhaps more than any reporter before or since, Murrow captured the trust and belief of a nation and returned that trust with honesty and courage.
“His belief in journalism as an active part of the political process and a necessary tool within democracy has forever altered the politics and everyday life of the American people.”