Shining a Spotlight:
The Teaching Function of Journalists in the Movies
Allison Kleinman
Screenshot 7.1, Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer, Michael Keaton as Walter Robinson,
and Mark Ruffalo as Mike Rezendes in Spotlight (2010).
“Where is the editorial responsibility in publishing records of this nature?”
“Where’s the editorial responsibility in not publishing them?”
--Dialogue between Judge Volterra and Journalist Mike Rezendes,
Spotlight 2016
Inspired by my major in Communication studies and minor in
Journalism, my interest in the role of education in popular culture led
me to exploring the teaching function of journalists in film and the
various lessons we, as a society, are taught from viewing such
depictions. In order to understand, reject, or appreciate and value the
free press, we must first begin to analyze the ways in which Hollywood
creates distinct portrayals of journalists. As school educators are often
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