Edward Murrow’s son to talk about censorship at GCC on Monday
GREENFIELD — This coming March will mark the 60th anniversary of when famed TV journalism pioneer Edward R. Murrow used his national broadcast to criticize Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s hunt for Communist sympathizers.
The freedom of speech and press issues that Murrow fought for are still being debated today. His son, Casey Murrow, will explore the topic during a talk on Tuesday afternoon in Greenfield Community College’s Nahman-Watson Library.
Murrow’s talk, which begins at 12:30 p.m., is the culminating event in the library’s third annual “Banned Books Week,” which explores censorship issues.
Books that have been banned at places across the country were on display this week on the library’s shelves. On Wednesday, students and faculty joined librarians to talk about some examples of censorship throughout the country.
For example, said librarian Liza Harrington, the recent “Rolling Stone” magazine issue that depicted the face of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover divided the nation.
Many found it offensive and some stores chose not to sell it, but regardless of how people personally feel about the magazine, libraries have a duty to include it in collections to keep the conversation going, said Harrington.
“It was a decision made by the publisher and it is now part of the historical record,” she said. “Whatever you can learn from that ... it’s important that it be on the shelves and available for people to read.”
Because of the Rolling Stone debate, Harrington said that library staff wanted someone with journalism connections to speak this week — which led them to Casey Murrow, a Vermont educator, who will talk about his father’s legacy.
Faculty were allowed to screen “Good Night, and Good Luck,” the 2005 feature film that depicts Murrow’s conflict with McCarthy, in their classrooms this week.