10 Great Journalism Movies For Summer

Want to refresh your batteries this summer – go rent some DVDs. I personally like Blockbuster online, but Netflix works good too. Just click and they show up in the mailbox. Here’s some great movies to get excited about journalism again this summer:

1. Shattered Glass – This is probably one of the best journalism movies ever made. It focuses on ethics and how easy it is to ignore the faults in the popular kid in the newsroom as he makes news out of whole cloth. Based on the true story of Stephen Glass at the New Republic.  PG-13

2. Good Night and Good Luck – Second best journalism movie ever made. It is of course the story of Edward R. Murrow and his fight against McCarthyism. And he even smokes on air – a sin under the new MPAA rules. PG

3. The Pelican Brief – Denzel Washington plays a great newspaper reporter. I like to use just the part where he interviews her and reviews his notes with my students. It is a great way to show kids how to take good notes. Based on the John Grisham novel. PG-13

4. The Killing Fields – Another great true story of a photographer Dith Pran and a reporter during the fall of Laos and the aftermath. R

5. All The President’s Men – I guess you just can’t escape this movie, the grand-daddy of all journalism movies. If you don’t know about Watergate, then you might want to check out a history book first. PG

6. State of Play – Really good movie about the modern world of journalism.  It’s all in here, the salty old dog reporter and the young pup with a blog, layoffs, technology, politicians, a scandal, a corporate boss and good old fashioned beat reporting.  PG-13

7. Absence of Malice – Another good story about ethics and when you should print information that might be damaging. This is one of the few fictional ones on the list. PG

8. The Truman Show – Not really about journalism, but about our television culture and how much we are invading into people’s personal space and the Orwellian camera culture we all live in today.  PG-13

9. The Devil Wears Prada – Pretty good movie based on the book of the same name about the difficulties of breaking in and working at a fashion magazine. The movie is now an obit for a dying industry. PG13

10. Broadcast News – Pretty good movie on what is fake in the news. Some good scenes you could actually use to show kids how a news interview is really done and how looks are sometimes more important than talent. R

11. The Paper – Micheal Keeton plays a great foul mouthed, deadline oriented, sensationalist editor. An often too realistic look at many daily newspapers. R

Bonus 12+ Superman or Spiderman – Who doesn’t see journalists as superheros (especially journalism teachers)? Go rent almost any one of the movies featuring Peter Parker or Clark Kent.

And www.imdb.com, the Internet Movie Database, has a great new feature – search by topic: journalism, television, photographer, etc.

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