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10 Films to Remind You of ‘Good-old-journalism Days’

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If you too are watching the news and pondering about the lives of journalists, their day, their idea of factual accuracy, the world of readership and Television Rating Points (TRPs), and what makes news, here are 10 movies curated by Silverscreen India to give you an insight.

  1. Peepli Live (2010)

Based on farmers’ suicide, the politics around it, and the news media coverage; Peepli Live helps the audience plunge deep into the life of a farmer’s family from a fictional village in Madhya Pradesh called Peepli. The story is of Budhia (Raghubir Yadav) and Nathadas (Omkar Das Manikpuri), brothers who are about to lose their land due to debt. The plot twists when one of them decide to die by suicide to save his land and family. The media arrives to cover this rare occurrence in flocks, leaving the audience with large questions as the movie ends.

   2. Rosewater (2014) 

Witness to a protest against the Shah regime in Iran in 2009, Mazira Bahari, a journalist with NewsWeek, is locked up in a prison in Tehran. Inspired by Bahari’s post-prison memoir, Then They Came for Me, the movie sequences everyday changes in the personality of Canadian-Iranian journalist during his days in confinement.

  3. New Delhi (1987) 

After exposing the two corrupt politicians, G Krishnamoorthy (Mammootty), an investigative journalist based in New Delhi, is arrested. This Malayalam thriller-drama highlights his revenge plan for the ‘unfair treatment’ through a mysterious newspaper started by him. 

  4. Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism (2004)

With interviews of former Fox News Channel (FNC) employees and snippets of footage starting right from the announcement of FNC to its eventual evolution, this independent film by director Rober Greenwald offers an insight into the large news channel and owned by Rupert Murdoch. The film particularly investigates the popular brand image of the channel, its apparent “fair and balanced” coverage and its conservative biases. 

  5. All the President’s Men (1976)

With help of meticulous investigation and tracking money transactions, two Washington Post journalists succeed in exposing the famous Watergate scandal leading to the resignation of the President of the United States Richard Nixon. According to the New Yorker review, screenplay writer William Goldman turned reporters Bob Woodward (played by Richard Redford) and Carl Bernstein (played by Dustin Hoffman), into heroes after the release of the film. It did indeed. 

   6. Wag the Dog (1997)

Interlocking the world of politics and show business, the movie portrays a fake war organised by spokesperson Conrad Brean (Robert De Niro) and famous director Stanley Motss (Dustin Hoffman). The fake war in Albania is to distract the voters’ attention from the president’s sex scandal. 

   7. Spotlight (2015)

In its two hours eight minutes run time, the movie chronicles the efforts by a team of journalists from the news portal Boston Globe, to expose a case of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Boston.

   8. The Journalist (2019)

Toto Newspaper reporter, Erika Yoshioka (Shim Eun-Kyung) and the bureaucrat, Takumi Sugihara (Tori Matsuzaka) cross paths when Erika investigates a building plan for the construction of a new university. This Japanese movie is based on a reporter, Isoko Mochizuki’s book Shinbun Kisha and is gripping.

   9. Network  (1976)

Protagonist Howard Beale (Peter Finch), an anchor, is fed up of the lies produced on broadcasting media and decides to speak up against it on his show. The storyline revolves around TRP greed and how Beale’s organisation attempts to control him after his revelation.

  10. Goodnight, and Goodluck (2005)

A historical drama, this film’s storyline revolves around the struggles of Edward R Murrow, a broadcast journalist from CBS News, who uncovers atrocities done by Senator Joseph McCarthy.

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