Best films on journalism

Herewith a list on the best films and books I’ve seen and read on the subject.

Spotlight (2015)
How Boston Globe’s investigation team exposed the Boston Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. It’s uncomplicated feel is a marvel and the fact there is no lead actor as such, is one of countless reasons why this film works. The scene at the end as both editor and reporter enter a room full of ringing phones is simply hair-raising. Spellbinding.

All The President’s Men (1976)
Unravelling of the Watergate investigation that inspired a generation of reporters, Redford and Hoffman (aka Woodward and Bernstein) strut their stuff superbly. A darker, more hands-on feel to Spotlight, thanks to late-night scenes meeting source Deep Throat gives this an edgier feel. Generally watch this once a year.

Killing Fields (1984)
New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg is trapped in Cambodia during Pol Pot’s bloody ‘Year Zero’ cleansing campaign. Engrossing.

Citizen Kane (1941)
Possibly the greatest movie made. Driven reporter aims to uncover meaning behind final word of newspaper publisher and recluse (Orson Welles). Masterpiece.

State of Play (2003)
Forget the US version, John Simm is utterly convincing as a tabloid hack in the original television series thriller as a politician’s life unravels.

Salvador (1986)
A photojournalist, James Woods, chronicles events in El Salvador during 1980. Amid the Central American war theme, he likes the odd drink and drugs binge.

Page One – Inside the New York Times (2011)
Brilliant look at how the NYT operates in this superb docufilm. The late, brilliant David Carr, their media correspondent, features heavily.

The Paper (1994)
Day in the life, light-hearted look at American tabloid journalism, albeit one featuring the obligatory round of paper cuts. Michael Keaton is an editor at the New York Sun, with pregant wife on his case, as he’s headhunted into a better, more secure job.

Three others: The Front Page, Shattered Glass and The September Issue, how Vogue’s autumn issue is put together. High-heeled stuff.

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