Journalism defers from regular reporting in a way that it takes an active participation. Journalism has been the propeller and platform for many of the events occurring in history; from slavery, to corruption and to social movements. This all starts with an agenda, as stated in the “Mightier than the Sward” book. Sometimes, this would lead to journalists standing alone and even be exposed to harm’s way. This can be seen in the case of the Liberator, which advocated for slavery to end while other newspaper editors stood against that claim. Thomas Nast on the other hand had to relocate his family due to the death threats he was getting for publishing cartoons against “Boss” Tweed. It must be understood that it takes courage to write for history as it is shaped through time by brave people standing for what they believe in. Henceforth, there is parallelism between events in history and journalists getting prosecuted or persecuted. Journalism has a bigger purpose than just informing because just like the proverb goes, the pen is mightier than the sward.
Citizenfour is a documentary film reporting on the monitoring programs by the United States government. The monitoring program itself had been announced since the 9/11 attacks as a preventative measure, but the degree of it is just appalling. The unveiling process of the program was recorded by Laura Poitras, a filmmaker known for projects exposing the NSA. In the film citizen four, she reports that after the release of “My Country, My Country”, she is under the surveillance of the Department of Homeland Security. The message of the film throughout was not just as a platform to expose the NSA, but also the repercussions of doing so. The film shows how Edward Snowden was basically persecuted for exposing the truth. Though there is a whistleblower protection act, a lot of effort is being made to extradite and prosecute Edward Snowden. The documentary puts together raw footages of interviews which makes the film more real rather than it be like a fictional film. The film was well done, engaging and most importantly, informative of the plight of journalism.
Journalism is a form of informing and reporting. A big part of it is ensuring that opinions do not mix with facts because that is the basis of journalism. I feel that this principle guards many stories from steering away from the truth, but sometimes, it becomes hard to write. For instance, when writing on the last assignment, it was difficult to write on a neutral front. I have been personally engaged with the issue at such a young age. Thus, when reporting, it felt like I was doing some of injustice for both sides. On one hand, there is an obligation to tell a story so people can form up their own judgement, but on the other, I feel like I have to shed light on the issue through different angles which might be on the greyer side of neutrality. It is hard to know when I have crossed the line and when it is acceptable. This has definitely put some perspective on Kathleen Kingsbury’s experience with the Boston Globe. Though her writing was comprehensible, it was not as relatable, for I had never written something so close to my beliefs. All in all, journalism is a tough field to crack and it would take a lot of practice and intuition before I can actually write without second guessing every sentence I write.
All the President’s Men was released over 4 decades ago. Thus, the story paste and the telling is far from the usual current Hollywood narratives which have become simpler for the sake of a global audience. The nuances in the story are translated very well on screen. The movie was relatively longer than usual movies today, but it was necessary to make the audience understand the arduous task of revealing the truth. Revealing the Watergate scandal was a long process covered under layers of cover up. If looked at multiple efforts under a single lens, it can be awfully boring and uneventful. But Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward showed perseverance and patience as they were dedicated to serving the truth. It is also hard to imagine how their editors were on board by supporting and pushing them so no room of doubt will be left behind. The movie was enlightening and definitely showed cracks of how the world of real journalism is. Let’s face it, any event turned into a movie, dramatization will occur so I might just not put my money on accurate interpretation. However, I do believe that this is as real as it gets.