Friday, December 15, 2017

List of top 10 journalism movies makes us ponder the lack of movies about great rural journalism

The release of "The Post," a movie about The Washington Post's handling of the Pentagon Papers, prompted the newspaper to pick the 10 best movies about journalism and get some major players to write about them. There's no rural journalism among them, with the very limited exception of Charles Foster Kane's early forays into the newspaper business. We have to wonder about the lack of movies about great rural journalism, since there are so many movie-worthy stories.

Some such stories are outlined in You Might Want to Carry a Gun: Community newspapers expose big problems in small towns, a book by Kathy Cruz of the Hood County News in Granbury, Tex., and Tommy Thomason of the Texas Center for Community Journalism at Texas Christian University. It would be a good Christmas gift for a courageous rural journalist (or one who could use a little more courage). It's available on Amazon. (Disclosure: Tommy Thomason is an academic partner of the University of Kentucky's Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, publisher of The Rural Blog.

The movies in the Post list, in order of release: "His Girl Friday," 1940, recommended by former New York Times Editor Jill Abramson; "Citizen Kane," 1941, reviewed by Chris Matthews of MSNBC; "Network," 1976, described Katy Tur of NBC News; "All the President's Men," recalled by major characters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein; "The Killing Fields," 1984, praised by Fareed Zakaria of CNN; "Broadcast News," 1987, appreciated by Katie Couric of National Geographic; "Shattered Glass," 2003, explained by Post editorial writer Charles Lane, who was Stephen Glass's editor at The New Republic; "Good Night, and Good Luck," 2005, loved by Andrea Mitchell of NBC; "Frost/Nixon," 2008, praised by radio interviewer Diane Rehm; and "Spotlight," 2015, limned by Post Editor Martin Baron, a major character as editor of The Boston Globe.


Howard Owens said...

Any such list that doesn’t include DEADLINE USA is a flawed list.

Ken Hedler said...

I recall the Pulitzer Prize win for the weekly Point Reyes Light north of San Francisco was made into a TV movie more than 30 years ago. I met the publisher, Dave Mitchell, at a convention in Palm Springs in 1983 before the movie came out.