The News in the Movies

At ReNews we recognize that our perceptions of journalists have been framed by the media’s passion for covering its own inspirational role models.  Movies have told the stories of journalists to us in images of David and Goliath with All the President’s Men, or painted them as saintly like Burgess Meredith playing the selfless Ernie Pyle in The Story of G.I. Joe, telling the slogging and heroic stories of the American Infantry soldier.

Enjoy these movies that inspire us to seek a better overall level of journalistic craft in support of American democracy.

But more often journalists have been portrayed as hard drinking, chauvinistic, and hyper-opinionated, with PTSD-inflicted warts and all.  Kirk Douglas in Ace in the Hole deliciously shows just how vicious and unscrupulous a reporter can be.

I miss the old newsroom days of smoking, and profanity, human emotion and police scanner intensity.  One of the great documentaries in this genre was just released and you can still catch it on HBO. Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists tells the unflinching story of how the news used to be different than it is today, of how emotions were just as high in the civil rights era, but how two monumental New York City columnists brought audiences together by making us see each other in all our human truth.

The story of the Boston Globe’s investigative unit in  Spotlight shed a beam of transparency on how corrupt social institutions do their best to constrain the disruption they know the truth will bring to their fragile architectures of deceit.

Too many of these stories are about the white male tradition of journalism.  At ReNews we recognize this and are looking to build a fully diverse movement in journalism.  Please share with us stories about the journalists and publishers of color and from marginalized communities who have inspired you.

We are inspired by The Killing Fields’ strong portrayal of the role of Dith Pran, though in the shadow of Sam Waterston’s turn as the New York Times war correspondent Sydney Schanberg.  The British series The Newspaper presents strong entrepreneurial people of color disrupting the crusty London newspaper market.

We hope you enjoy these movies too.  They helped inspire our quest to seek a better overall level of journalistic craft in support of American democracy.

ReNews Pop Culture List – Movies

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