World Press Freedom day has been celebrated worldwide on May 3rd every year since 1993. This day serves as a reminder among media professionals on the ethics of reporting and governmental bodies to respect and uphold the rights to media freedom.
The Washington Post reports over the years, a staggering number of journalists have been killed on duty. In the past decade alone, at least 554 journalist have been killed in cross fires, dangerous task assignments or even targeted for murder and hostage-taking simply for reporting the truth.
Journalism’s line of work may seem trivial to some, but in certain cases where it involves big names and big corporations, their fundamental rights to exercise freedom of speech can put them at lethal risks.
There are a number of famous films that brings to life the true stories of brave journalists who insists the truth against corruption despite putting their lives at risk. From A Mighty Heart, here we have listed some of the greatest films of all time for you to binge on and get inspired!
#1 All The President’s Men
Nominated for 8 Academy Awards, this American political thriller film reenacts the Watergate scandal that was uncovered by two journalists from The Washington Post, Bob Woodward (played by Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (played by Dustin Hoffman). The scandal in question resulted in the resignation of Republican President Richard Nixon when he was found involved in the breaking-in of the Democratic Party offices just months before the election. Nixon was stealing information and abusing his presidential power to try to stay in office. The name "Watergate" hails from the name of a hotel in Washington, D.C. where the first crime took place and is often associated with political scandals. All The President’s Men was regarded the best journalism movie ever to be produced.
#2 The Post
Set in 1971, The Post unravels the true story of attempts by journalists at The Washington Post to the publish the notorious “Pentagon Papers” which is a set of documents that reveals that America had secretly intensified the scope of its actions in the Vietnam War with the bombings of nearby Cambodia and Laos, coastal raids on North Vietnam, as well as Marine Corps attacks, with none reported in the mainstream media. Starring Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee, editor at The Washington Post and Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham as the first female publisher of a major American newspaper AND directed by Steven Spielberg, you just know that it will be a great film!
#3 The Spotlight
Any Mark Ruffalo fans here? You can catch him alongside Rachel Mcadams and Micheal Keaton among others in this biographical drama film regarding a newspaper investigative unit in America and its investigations in the into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests. The newspaper investigative unit, the Spotlight managed to pressure Cardinal Bernard Law who knew of these child sex abuse cases but chooses to turn a blind eye, to step down in disgrace. He however was given a position in Rome by Pope John Paul II where he resides till 2011. The spotlight is one thought provoking movie that speaks volume about corruption even in unlikely circumstances and the media’s crucial role in uncovering the truth.
#4 A Mighty Heart
Based on a memoir of the same name by Mariane Pearl, this film accounts the kidnapping and beheading of the Mariane’s husband Daniel Pearl, a South Asia bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal who was researching a story on shoe bomber Richard Reid, a British terrorist who attempted to detonate a shoe bomb while on an American flight in 2001. Daniel was killed in Karachi by the supporters of the British-Pakistani terrorist Omar Sheikh. The film is told largely by the eyes of Mariane Pearl, played by Angelina Jolie. Jolie did a remarkable and convincing job at portraying a 6 months pregnant Mariane who kept a calm and calculated facade despite her grief in finding her husband. A Mighty Heart is an emotionally moving film on a difficult subject you would surely not want to miss.
On to a much more latest film is Bombshell. The movie is based on a controversial true accounts of the women at Fox News who set out to expose its CEO, Roger Ailes. Remember President Nixon we mentioned earlier? Roger Ailes is his media consultant. The story focuses on the channel’s former anchor Gretchen Carlson played by Nicole Kidman allegations against Ailes, revealing that he made sexual advances to her and other women at Fox. The film also highlighted the story of a Fox News presenter Megyn Kelly played by Charlize Theron, who infuriated the Fox News fanbase by challenging Trump on his misogynist attitudes before the election. Bombshell is certainly one entertaining movie to watch!
We applaud all journalists and their undying passion to report news that speaks truth and deter far from bias. Without these honest journalists who refused to be a part of a political tool, we won’t be able to uncover the truth especially in this age of fabricated lies.
While we’re at the topic of political tool, find out what Megat Shahrizal and Sara Ali has to say on the topic of personal politics with host Denise Chen in this episode of What’s The Feed!