NewsTrack 5: Spotlight

On the heels of its “upset” win for Best Picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, there is a lot of buzz surrounding “Spotlight.”

The new film “Spotlight” shines a light on the Catholic Church’s child abuse scandal, and how, through the diligent work of some investigative journalists from the Boston Globe, this story was finally brought to light. This harrowing look into scandal in one of the world’s biggest institutions – the Church – leads some to beg the question, “why did it take so long for this story to come to light?”

The portrayal of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team earned the film Best Picture at the 88th Academy Awards

However, the more appropriate response would be that of praise for the Spotlight team at the Globe who a spent a solid 18 months digging through Church records and interviewing countless victims. And a more appropriate question would be, “what does this mean for the future of journalism?”

Many journalists have been wondering what the future holds for their profession as multimedia platforms are becoming more prevalent and readership to newspapers is declining. That being said, the film should generate some buzz because it was the first film about journalism to win Best Picture since “Gentlemen’s Agreement” in 1947 and the likely the most influential since “All the President’s Men” made waves in 1976.

My NewsTrack site, CNN, touched on these points in a number of articles both recapping the film’s big win and looking toward the future of journalism.

One article focused on the celebration that ensued from actors and journalists alike following the Oscars, and noted that while it remains to be seen whether the success of the film will translate to more college students studying journalism, there is certainly an increased excitement surrounding the field.

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Another took a very different, but also informative approach. CNN sat down with the six real-life reporters portrayed in the film and presented the interview in conversation fashion, making it easily accessible to any audience. Topics ranged from the premiere felt like to the impact of the film.

Though it’s hard to predict what come next for journalism, I truly believe that it is an exciting time to be entering the field. There are loads of new opportunities and jobs that didn’t even exist yet 10 years ago, and if “Spotlight” taught us anything, it’s that there is always a need for good storytelling, reporting, and the truth.


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