Facts, truth, and bad journalists in the movies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scholars have called for cultural analyses of the press that are more attuned to journalists' self-image as disciples of facts and truth while also critically examining the contradictions within that self-image. Popular representations of journalism such as motion pictures are one fruitful site of inquiry. This article studies American movies' depictions of 'bad journalists', characters who in many ways contradict the image of upstanding professionalism that the press tries to promote. Although real-life journalists over the years have often objected to such portrayals, 'bad journalist' characters still have helped shore up the press's preferred self-image, either by seeing through lies and pretense to the truth or by paying the price for not telling the truth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-519
Number of pages19
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006


  • Cultural analyses of journalism
  • Film genre
  • Myth
  • Popular culture
  • Representations of journalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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