ROME (AP) _ Walter Cronkite praised what he called the sober news coverage by U.S. broadcasters of the terrorist attacks against Washington and New York.

The retired CBS anchorman was in the Italian capital Friday to receive an honorary degree from the La Sapienza university.

In his acceptance speech, Cronkite said he was ``exceedingly proud of the job American television is doing,'' praising what he called its calm, sober commentary and avoidance of sensationalism.

La Sapienza's rector, Giuseppe D'Ascenzo, said Cronkite was awarded a degree in communication sciences for his nearly 70 years of professional journalism and leadership.

Cronkite for years was one of America's best-known faces as anchorman of ``CBS Evening News.''

At noon, university officials interrupted Cronkite's speech to allow for three minutes of silence in memory of the victims of Tuesday's attacks. The gesture was repeated throughout Europe.