"Our house is on fire," said Pelley. The video of Pelley's speech is courtesy of nowthisnews.com.
"These have been a bad few months for journalism," he added. "We're getting the big stories wrong, over and over again."
The CBS newsreader was quick to take at least partial blame. "Let me take the first arrow: During our coverage of Newtown, I sat on my set and I reported that Nancy Lanza was a teacher at the school. And that her son had attacked her classroom. It's a hell of a story, but it was dead wrong. Now, I was the managing editor, I made the decision to go ahead with that and I did, and that's what I said, and I was absolutely wrong. So let me just take the first arrow here."
And Pelley said the republic relies on the quality of the news business. "Democracies succeed or fail based on their journalism," said Pelley. "America is strong because its journalism is strong. That's how democracies work. They're only as good as the quality of the information that the public possesses. And that is where we come in."