A blog about movies and filmmaking.

In the battle of reporting news, we all lose

In drama, media on June 5, 2009 at 2:09 am

STATE OF PLAY, starring Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams and Ben Affleck, is about journalism. Yes, there’s a corporate/government conspiracy and murder and whatnot, but the movie ultimately is about the press and today’s need for actual reporting and telling the people of the facts. There’s a lot of talk about how this movie is pro-print journalism and anti-online journalism/blogger. And I have to say, I don’t buy it. What I got from this movie was that both of these mediums need to start working hand in hand, not necessarily to save an industry; but, to have the news sold! 

Russell Crowe’s character starts off, much like the majority of today’s mainstream press – disliking and mocking bloggers and online news reporting – but, by the end he’s accepted the medium; in the guise of Rachel McAdams (who, honestly, would pretty much make you accept cutting off your own foot…ok, well I would accept it), and her job as the newspaper’s online section. He shows her how to handle contacts and sources; how to look more at the big picture, how to not focus on and report every single tiny nugget that they come across and to always keep a pen handy. 

I think that too many people are stuck on the fight about print vs. online news reporting that they’ve been blinded to see what the actial message is. (Or maybe, being neither, I’m just naive and am seeing the world with my rose colored…computer screen.)

The rest of the movie is great too. There’s some really good performances by Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman and Helen Mirren. The murder/mystery/political intrigue is also pretty captivating and makes for a solid, entertaining movie on it’s own; but if you’ve got the slightest bit interest in writing, or how digital media is seemingly overtaking print media, then that’s probably going to be what you’ll leave the movie thinking about.

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