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Monday, April 13, 2020


Dustin Hoffman as Carl Bernstein (left) and Robert Redford as Bob Woodward in "All the President's Men"

GUEST BLOG / By Tom Jones, a lot of movies about journalism. A lot more than you might think. And most of them, actually, are quite good.

It’s not like sports. For every sports classic such as “Hoosiers” or “Raging Bull” or “Bull Durham,” there’s a dog like “Caddyshack 2” or “Rocky V” or “Blades of Glory.”

This isn’t like movies about presidents. For every “Lincoln,” there’s an “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

Tom Jones
Most journalism movies, even the ones that aren’t exactly like the day-to-day lives of flesh-and-blood journalists, are still pretty entertaining. Many perfectly capture the journalistic experience.

That’s why coming up with a list of best ever movies about journalism was not easy. Yet, we’re confident in our selections. So grab your popcorn and take in the Poynter/Jones list of Greatest Movies About Journalism.

1. All the President’s Men (1976)
Let’s not get cute or overthink this.  This is the best movie about journalism ever made, and it’s not even close.  The nail-biting (even though you already know the ending) gold standard is the reason many journalists viewing it went into the business.

2. Spotlight (2015).
The true story of the Boston Globe’s investigation into sexual abuse in the Catholic church is the current generations “All the President’s Men,” showing relentless and tedious shoe-leather reporting, while going up against a powerful organization.  Like “All the President’s Men,” it’s an inspiration for young journalists.  It is considered one of the finest film made  in 2015 and winner of an Academy Award for Best Picture in 2016.  It also won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay by director Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer.  “Spotlight” is a team of Boston Globe investigative reporters, which is considered the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalistic unit in the U.S.  The Globe won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. 

[L-R] actors Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter and William Hurt on the set of "Broadcast News."
3. Broadcast News (1987)
This hilarious satire hits closer to real-life network TV than many might realize.  Holly Hunter’s character, Jane, is loosely based on the then new CBS News president Susan Zirinsky, is one of the richest characters ever written for the screen, while William Hurt (the dumb but pretty anchor) and Alfred Brooks (the smart but awkward reporter) are brilliant. Written, produced and directed by James L. Brooks.  In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Source: Tom Jones,  For his complete 25 best movies about journalism click here.

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