Heroes and villains – an overview of journalism on film

Brian Mcnair

in Journalists in Film

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780748634460
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670925 | DOI:
Heroes and villains – an overview of journalism on film

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This chapter elaborates the main features of what has been characterised by others such as Richard Ness, Howard Good, Matthew Ehrlich and Joe Saltzman as the ‘journalism genre’ — the categories and sub-genres of film which have been made about journalism. Films about journalism have been among the biggest earners in cinema. Movies about journalists make good stories because the situation of the journalist in society is inherently dramatic. Journalists can be screen villains, irredeemably wicked, amoral, worthless. Movies about journalism are not a genre, but encompass a variety of generic conventions. Romantic comedies are among the most common in films about journalism. Somewhere between comedy and drama sits satire, of which there have been many excellent examples in the journalism genre. Journalists have also featured in many war movies. They are also included within the upsurge of documentaries in the mainstream movie market.

Keywords: journalism genre; Richard Ness; Howard Good; Matthew Ehrlich; Joe Saltzman; films; satire; villains; comedy; drama

Chapter.  6482 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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