Tom Brokaw visits Sarasota - WFLA News Channel 8

Tom Brokaw visits Sarasota

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Acclaimed journalist Tom Brokaw is in Sarasota giving a town hall lecture to benefit the Ringling College Library Association.

Tom Brokaw joined NBC News in 1966 and later served as anchor of NBC Nightly News until 2004.

Before his talk at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Brokaw sat down with a group of journalists and reflected on his life and career.

He spoke about his time as a young reporter in Omaha, Nebraska. He said he had only been a journalist for a year when President Kennedy was assassinated.

"It was kind of a 'Leave it to Beaver' lifestyle in those days. Everything seemed possible for my generation, and suddenly this emblematic president who represented what we thought was a profound change in American life - youthful, progressive dashing - he was gone," Brokaw said. "That was useful for me as a journalist because I never took anything for granted from that day forward."

Brokaw also expressed excitement about the current state of news media. He shared how after learning the breaking news of Margaret Thatcher's death, he was able to read London newspapers to understand their reaction to it.

But he did say that American media consumers have to be wise about the news they read. He said, "If you really want to be informed, you've got to develop a kind of checklist for yourself about what holds up, what's credible, what's useful to me."

Tom Brokaw gave one lecture at 10:30 a.m. at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, and his next lecture will be at 7:30 Monday evening.

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