CBC Digital Archives

Inheriting the mantle

An international correspondent's life can be exhilarating — the travel, the adventure, the sense of being right in the middle of where it's all happening. But it can also be very risky, especially in a war zone. And it can take an emotional toll on even the most seasoned journalist. The job comes with ethical and philosophical considerations, not to mention practical questions — like what do you pack? From the Second World War to present day, CBC Archives examines what it's like to be a CBC journalist abroad.

Like father, like son. By 1968, legendary war reporter Matthew Halton's son David has become a well-known foreign correspondent in his own right, working in Moscow. In this 1968 clip, David Halton compares the journalism of his father's era with today's style of reporting. Today, he says, journalism is much more focused on being completely objective. But Halton wonders if the quest for total objectivity has gone too far. "Occasionally, the reporting loses that personal edge," he laments.

(Note: This is an audio clip from a TV program.) 
• David Halton was born in England in 1940 while his father was reporting from there.
• David joined the CBC in 1965. A year later, he became the Paris correspondent.
• He was CBC's Moscow correspondent from 1968 to 1969. While there, he met and married his Russian wife, Zoya.
• Other locations from which he has worked include England, Vietnam, the Middle East, and Washington, D.C.
• He was also the CBC's chief political correspondent in Ottawa from 1978 to 1991.

• In 1999 David Halton said, of his father's reporting, "There was an element of cheerleading to it that wouldn't be acceptable today. While frequently acknowledging the courage of German soldiers, there were unabashed references to the 'enemy' and, in one broadcast, to the 'sullen young zealots' of Germany's First Parachute Regiment. My father had reported throughout the 1930s on the growing danger of Nazism, and for him the Second World War was nothing less than a holy crusade."

• David Halton retired in 2005 at the age of 65, after 40 years with the CBC. To listen to him reflect on his retirement and career, see the additional clip "David Halton retires".  
Medium: Television
Program: Luncheon Date
Broadcast Date: Jan. 2, 1968
Guest(s): David Halton
Host: Elwood Glover
Duration: 8:50

Last updated: May 14, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

Woodstock Remembered

They say if you can remember Woodstock, you weren't really there. Of course, that's not entire...

Barbara Frum: Pioneering Broadcaster Part 2

The sudden death of Barbara Frum on March 26, 1992 shocked Canadians. The loss of one of the c...

Barbara Frum: Pioneering Broadcaster Part 1

The sudden death of Barbara Frum on March 26, 1992 shocked Canadians. The loss of one of the c...

1985: Electric eels light up Christmas tree

The electric eels at the Vancouver Aquarium light up a tree for the holiday season.

1948: Housewives save with margarine

The Supreme Court of Canada lifts a ban on the sale of margarine, a butter substitute that's h...

The Avro Arrow: Canada's Broken Dream

It's the closest thing Canadian industry has to a love story and a murder mystery. The Avro Ar...