Journalism movies through the years

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While the job of a journalist is to report on noteworthy happenings, sometimes their experience in uncovering the story is worth telling as well. Hollywood has created many movies about journalists, but there are five that unmistakably merit a spot on any Netfilx queue.

Citizen Kane

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Many people enjoy movies with journalism themes.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, this masterpiece by Orson Welles opens with the death of fictional newspaper tycoon Charles Kane. A reporter is assigned to cover the story and begins interviewing some of those closest to Kane to find out the meaning of his last utterance, “Rosebud.” The interviews paint a picture of a man who lost the ideals of his youth as he grew in wealth and power.

It may be more than 70 years old, but the story is timeless and the film is a touchstone of American cinema.

Good Night, and Good Luck

Black and white and set in the 1950s, this contemporary film depicts the true story of Edward Murrow’s conflict with Senator Joseph McCarthy, who accused countless individuals of being communists. Murrow, a reporter for CBS, attempts to expose McCarthy as a fear-monger with the help of his producer. The men are tested in their convictions from all sides but persevere in hopes of delivering the truth to the masses. The film, directed by George Clooney, portrays journalism at its best–telling the truth, even in dire circumstances.

Absence of Malice

Starring Paul Newman and Sally Fields, this crime drama is centered around a liquor wholesaler who wakes up to a front page story about his involvement in a murder that is under investigation. However, the reporter who wrote the article was fed faulty information, and the balance of the movie is spent with these two characters working to prove Newman’s innocence. This film is sure to please crime-thriller enthusiasts.

The Pelican Brief

Based on a John Grisham novel of the same name, this film stars Denzel Washington as a reporter who works with a Tulane University law student (Julia Roberts) to unravel a mystery concerning the assassinations of two Supreme Court justices. This thriller is another example, albeit fictional, of exciting investigative reporting.

All The President’s Men

Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman star in the story of two reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who investigated the infamous Watergate scandal in 1972. An outstanding example of investigative journalism, it’s the true story of two diehard journalists whose efforts uncovered one of the most notorious scandals in American history and led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The film is worth watching for its depiction of investigative journalism and the background it provides about this historic incident.

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