Not all learning has to be done in a classroom. We learn new things every day through the media we consume. Movies are a great way to expand your mind and give you different perspectives. So, when your fingers hurt from typing your latest essay, close the laptop and reach for the remote. Journalism is a field where no two days look exactly the same. Journalists are always chasing new stories and putting themselves in dangerous situations for the sake of their work.

If journalists are like bees, the newsroom is their hive. It’s a place where they land after a long day of reporting, and it’s always buzzing with diverse and interesting stories. Many movies have been made about the reporters who inhabit the newsroom. Here are the top five movies about journalists to inspire you, the journalism major.

His Girl Friday is a playful commentary on the lengths journalists will go to break a story- including keeping a convicted murderer in a folding desk for several hours. Photo courtesy of Carrie Pinkard/Connect.

His Girl Friday is a playful commentary on the lengths journalists will go to break a story- including keeping a convicted murderer in a folding desk for several hours. Photo courtesy of Carrie Pinkard/Connect.

1) Broadcast News (1987)

“OK. What about this? Here’s a tough ethical one. Would you tell a source that you loved them? Just to get some information?”

Hello, Holly Hunter. Broadcast News centers around a love triangle at a national news network. Holly Hunter plays Jane, a producer who detests anything unauthentic making its way to air. She has two men admit her love to her, one is her longtime best friend, and the other is a handsome newcomer to her network. Broadcast News is a love story, but the center of Jane’s universe and affection is not a man, but rather news itself.  

2) Shattered Glass (2003)

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, okay. Those are all real people.”

This movie will make any journalist who has a grasp on ethics cringe. It’s based on the true story of Stephen Glass, a reporter for The New Republic, who fabricated details in most of his stories. He would make up entire interviews, locations and even human beings. The movie shows him rise up in his career by writing these amazing stories.

However, it’s not long before people start to notice the stories are amazingly false. It stars Hayden Christianson, the boy who played young Anakin in Star Wars. Just like Anakin, Stephen Glass went to the dark side.

3) All the President’s Men (1976)

“Goddammit, when is somebody going to go on the record in this story?”

If you’re a journalism major who hasn’t seen All the President’s Men, get ready to be inspired. Breaking the Watergate scandal was not an easy feat. The relentless reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein made the connection between the burglary of the Democratic Headquarters and former Republican president Richard Nixon himself.

All the President’s Men tells how these reporters broke the story and the threats they encountered on the way. This movie will give you a reminder of the huge impact the press can have on the political climate. It will likely make you proud to be pursuing a career in journalism.

4) His Girl Friday (1940)

“If you want me, Bruce, you’ve gotta take me as I am instead of trying to change me into something else. I’m no suburban bridge player. I’m a newspaperman. Darn it.”

His Girl Friday is a playful commentary on the lengths journalists will go to break a story- including keeping a convicted murderer in a folding desk for several hours. The characters in this move talk a mile a minute, giving the viewer the correct assumption that there’s no time to waste in the news business.

The main character, Hildy, tries to move away from the newspaper world. She quits her job and gets engaged to an insurance man. But a single whiff of a good story brings her back. We watch her get swept up in the drama, and the allure of delivering news to the public.

5) Nothing But the Truth (2008)

“It was not until I met her that I realized that with great people there’s no difference between principle and the person.” – Alan Burnside

This is a film about how far a journalist went to protect her source. Reporter Rachel Armstrong wrote a story revealing the identity of a CIA agent. When a federal prosecutor came after Rachel to identify her source, Rachel wouldn’t give it to him. The judge held her in contempt of court and she spent years in prison, away from her young son and husband, rather than giving up the name of her source. This movie will make you question how far you’re willing to go to maintain your journalistic integrity. It’s a story of strong sense of will and endurance.

Enjoyed Movies for your major: journalism?

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