Walter Cronkite was a huge part of the reason I chose journalism as a major in college. He gave voice to the news events that unfolded throughout my childhood, and the CBS Evening News was required viewing in my house -- at least until he left its anchor chair in 1981.
In reporting the passing of Mr. Cronkite last night, CNN had several hours of interviews with current and former broadcast journalists, all of whom talked about how he was one of a kind, unparalleled in the field, and an encouragement to those with whom he worked. Media (and technology) are rapidly changing not only how we consume news but also what we define as "news." But his commitment to factual accuracy, plain-spokenness and compassion spans the generations.
He was, first and foremost, a newsman. We were all the better for it.