Chapter

Watchdogs

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748634460.003.0005
Watchdogs

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This chapter describes the watchdog function of journalism. It explores All the President's Men, The Insider and Good Night, and Good Luck. Movies about watchdogs are always concerned with the encounter between journalism and power. They are often ‘true’ stories, based on actual events. All the President's Men has come to be regarded as a ‘how-to’ movie by journalists and educators alike. The power over which journalists watch in Good Night is not that of the president, nor of corporate interests as in The Insider, but the power of fear when it is used as a weapon, manipulated and exploited to justify the erosion of civil liberties. All of these films were critically and commercially successful, engaging some of the most high-powered writers, directors and actors working in mainstream cinema.

Keywords: watchdogs; journalism; power; All the President's Men; The Insider; Good Night, and Good Luck; cinema; journalists

Chapter.  8007 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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