It’s Oscar time, and I’m again reminded of the debt Hollywood and journalists owe each other. Journalists supply Hollywood with great stories and Hollywood sometimes makes us look cool—or at least worth a couple of hours of time and the price of a ticket.
Put aside the fact that a number of Hollywood movies literally are made from the pages of journalism --“Saturday Night Fever,” “Dog Day Afternoon” and “Adaptation,” to name only a few, were all based on magazine stories. We journalists are also the very characters that Hollywood screenwriters sometimes love.
In addition to sometimes bringing out our cool factor—although, really, what aspiring reporter could resist Robert Redford’s corduroy suits in “All the President’s Men”? -- Hollywood movies can illuminate the kind of ethical, moral and values issues that journalists have to deal with.
This year’s slate of Oscar nominees again includes a movie with journalism as its subject. “Frost/Nixon,” the film adaptation of the Broadway play about British journalist David Frost’s pursuit of the ultimate interview with disgraced former U.S. President Richard Nixon, is nominated for five Oscars.