Sue MacDonald, Research Manager, Online Division
After he retired as the anchorman for CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite often said in later-life interviews that he had one regret as a newsman: he was never invited by NASA to fly into space or join the Apollo missions as the first reporter on the moon.
As the U.S. celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing today, Cronkite is at least sharing the spotlight. The day after his passing at the age of 92, Nielsen’s BlogPulse showed Cronkite to be most-cited person by bloggers – not only for his role in personally covering the Apollo moon missions in the late 1960s and into the 1970s but also for his status as a news anchor who became “the most trusted man in America,” according to surveys. Neil Armstrong, the NASA astronaut who made history as the first man on the moon, was also cited in the top 10 of personalities in the blogosphere.
In overall buzz, Armstrong captures slightly more than .04% of all attention on blogs, forums and online newsgroups where the moon landing anniversary is discussed, followed by Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, whose footprints on the moon came just seconds after those by Armstrong. Moon-related buzz about Cronkite – almost nonexistent until Friday — picks up throughout the weekend and into today.
According to Nielsen data, television coverage of the 1969 moon landing was seen in more than 40 million U.S. homes.