government and big business as inherently corrupt,” and “scorn[ing]
officially sanctioned truth and morality” (Ehrlich, 2004, 8).
In her book, The Hollywood Curriculum: Teachers in the Movies,
Dalton theorizes about what distinguishes a “good teacher” from a
“bad teacher” in ways that can be directly applied to my perspective on
journalists’ characteristics. She specifically highlights that the “good
teacher” is portrayed in films as someone “who gets involved with
students on a personal level, learns from those students,” and “also
frequently personalize[s] the curriculum to meet everyday needs in their
students’ lives (24). Correspondingly, I argue that many journalists serve
as “good teachers” for our society, as they inform us about vital
information and supporting the functionality of our democracy. He or
she often upholds certain values and exhibits particular characteristics
that distinguish them from others: they are accurate, observant, curious,
honest, unbiased, compassionate and tenacious. They are unswervingly
motivated by finding the truth in stories and are willing to face backlash
from various administrations for publishing sensitive information.
Their lives are consumed by their current stories, and they take the time
to understand and empathize with the people involved in the situation.
These journalists often personalize their approach when interviewing
traumatized or distressed individuals and express empathy toward their
experiences and are, thus, able to write more intimate and detailed
articles in the press. Many films have taken initiative to represent the
“good” journalist I describe, particularly Spotlight and All The President’s
Men, and such depictions have been fundamental to increasing and
maintaining the public’s appreciation of, and respect for, the press.
When considering films that display exceptional journalism, it
would be an unforgivable oversight not to include Spotlight. As one of
the major motion pictures of 2015, Spotlight has gained an enormous
amount of media attention because of its storyline on the Catholic
Church sexual abuse scandal discovered by a team of investigative
reporters at The Boston Globe. The journalists assigned to the case shared
a vigorous and unwavering work ethic in hopes of unveiling the truth
to the public. Not only did the team identify the “widespread sexual
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