Remembering Daniel Schorr


The passing, today, of Daniel Schorr at the age of 93 is a time for appreciation, sadness and remembering.

I met Mr. Schorr a few times over the past many years, but it was more likely from my getting into a cab that he was getting out of at 635 Massachusetts Ave, NW (NPR headquarters). Still, it was a pleasure to be in his presence, and it was always a comfort to hear him on the air.

I wrote an essay for Daniel Schorr’s appearance at the 3 Rivers (now Drue Heinz) Lecture Series in Pittsburgh back in 1999. I can’t find the file (it was done in WordPerfect), but it was an overview of his remarkable career, plus my observation about one of my favorite parts of his interactions with Scott Simon on Weekend Edition Saturday.

Scott, an ardent sports fan, would always ask Mr. Schorr his opinion on who was likely to win the major sports event coming up in the days ahead. I always found it amusing, since Daniel Schorr was not going to be especially up on the latest achievements of Kordell Stewart or any other sports figure of then or any time. Daniel Schorr was much more concerned about more serious things.

This was the only time he was less than prepared to address a topic. Still, Mr. Schorr was always a good sport about it.

Thinking of his career of the pursuit of the facts and larger truths, I can only cringe at the latest “journalistic” efforts of the week regarding USDA official Shirley Sherrod. Although Daniel Schorr had acquired a Twitter account, speed was not the goal of his work. Accuracy and perspective was.

So, as we mourn the loss of Daniel Schorr, I hope we recognize that his thoughtful approach to seek truth and speak it is something that is always at risk. Mr. Schorr, on more than one occasion, risked his career to maintain his integrity.

Mr. Schorr finished his storied career with many years at NPR. I and many of my colleagues will, I am sure, do our best to see to it that the path for Daniel Schorr’s kind of journalism still has a successful home and place in Public Radio and all the kinds of public media still to come.

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About sehanley

Musician, journalist, teacher, technologist, consultant & former NPR station manager. A media and entertainment professional, journalist, entrepreneur, technology advocate, educator, student, mentor, manager, and media, musical and theatrical performer. Voice talent and coach for music and spoken word. I also act and sing (mostly jazz, but a lot of experience with choral, classical and musical theater, too). Brass instruments, too, but my AF ofM card lapsed years ago. Heard on the national jazz service, PubJazz, and in the Pittsburgh market on WZUM/Pittsburgh Jazz Channel. I also teach college level courses in media and journalism. I managed the leading NPR/public radio station in Pittsburgh, PA for 16 years, a few years later was GM of the NPR station WBHM in Birmingham, AL. I served for six very busy years on the NPR Board of Directors and have done much volunteer service for national and local organizations in the communities I have been privileged to live and work in. Former NPR Board Member, former President of the Pittsburgh Radio Organization, sometime musician, relentless technology advocate. Opinions expressed are not the viewpoints of any employer or affiliation past or present.
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One Response to Remembering Daniel Schorr

  1. Terry says:

    Scott-

    I have not been able to stop thinking about Dan, what he meant to broadcast journalism and how greatly he will be missed by us and our listeners. He is the only person in this business that I never got to meet that I wish I had.

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