History Timetable

World War II


The Holocaust)
"Hear It Now"
"See It Now"

McCarthy Era
"Harvest of Shame"

"Good Night,  
And Good Luck"

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The Broadcasts of 
Edward R. Murrow:
An Appreciation of
The Man & His Words

A Resource for
Social Studies
teachers & students 

Frank Baker,
media educator

Edward R. Murrow


Murrow's last major TV milestone was reporting and narrating the CBS Reports installment "Harvest of Shame", a report on the plight of migrant farm workers in the United States. Directed by Friendly and produced by David Lowe, it ran in November 1960, just after Thanksgiving. (Source)

Harvest of Shame, produced by David Lowe, was the final documentary in the career of broadcasting news legend Edward R. Murrow. Originally aired on CBS Reports in 1960, this controversial documentary about the plight of farm laborers in rural Florida, some of whom worked for as little as a dollar a day, shocked viewers with its stark images of desperate poverty and the callous greed of big growers. Its stridently nonobjective point of view was denounced on the floor of the U.S. Senate and even upset network head honcho William S. Paley, but it also prompted thousands of calls and letters from a sympathetic public. Harvest of Shame forever changed the nature of TV news and set the tone for a generation of investigative journalists.

Here's a basic background primer about possibly the most important news documentary in TV history.

This page was updated on:  08/05/2012

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