On September 25 legendary news reporter and broadcast journalist Nick Clooney visited the College of Mount St. Joseph to give a lecture about journalism in the 1950’s McCarthy Era. The College’s 2012-2013 freshmen Inter Disciplinary Studies class was required to read his son’s (George Clooney) Oscar-nominated screenplay Goodnight, and Goodluck, as part of their freshman author series.
As the stage spotlight shone down on the podium, Clooney stood there dressed in his suit and spoke of a newsroom filled with, “smoke, urgency, tension, condescendence to women, and rage to get it right,”-- what he was describing was a newsroom in the 1950’s, something that his son captured “perfectly” in his film.
Clooney gave three speeches on campus, two to the freshman class during the day and one open to the public later that night. In his lecture Clooney talked of a time when Senator McCarthy was exploiting anger and wrongly accusing American’s of being communists with no provided evidence. It took a man brave enough and with substantial power to stand up to Senator McCarthy, and that’s what CBS news reporter Edward Murrow did in 1954.
As a journalist at the time, “I had no idea I was living in what would be called an era,” Clooney said. Always immersed in today and curious about tomorrow, Clooney stressed the importance of being aware of what is going on now.
In addition to the lecture series, Clooney and his wife Nina met with a group of students from the Division of Arts and Humanities for a lunch followed by a question and answer series.
At the lunch, Clooney explained that we’re in the midst of an electronic period and that we’re living at a time where people are concerned more with the type of media in which we receive our information, as opposed to caring solely about the content in which it contains.
Envious of our generation, he said that we’re now living in an exciting time where the field of journalism is beginning to change. Our world is expanding and through mediums such as the internet we’re able to receive news the moment it happens.
Clooney’s advice to the College’s students: “start paying attention now because you are in the midst of an era yourselves.”