In honour of the Academy Awards on Feb. 26, and in tribute to the (not fake) media, check out some Oscar-nominated movies about journalism. These probably won’t be getting a screening at the White House anytime soon.

7. Spotlight (2015). 6 nominations, 2 wins (including best picture). A team of Boston Globe investigative reporters break a huge story of personal and institutional abuse of power and cover-ups.

6. Citizen Kane (1941). 9 nominations, 1 win. Charles Foster Kane had enormous wealth and success in the media. He manipulated public opinion, had his eye on politics, and (spoiler alert) ended up dying alone in his palatial Florida estate.

5. Network (1976). 10 nominations, 4 wins. TV news anchor Howard Beale starts ranting on the air and sees his ratings spike. He tells viewers to shout out their windows: “We’re as mad as hell, and we’re not going to take this anymore.”

4. Good Night, and Good Luck (2005). 6 nominations. George Clooney co-wrote and directed the story of CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow and the communist-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy. The movie excerpts a speech by Murrow, imploring broadcasters to educate so TV isn’t just “wires and lights in a box”.

3. Citizenfour (2015). 1 nomination and win. Edward Snowden, who worked for a National Security Agency contractors, gives information on U.S. intelligence surveillance practices to a documentary filmmaker and an investigative journalist. Snowden now has asylum in Russia.

2. Frost/Nixon (2008). 5 nominations. An erratic former President, who had a combative relationship with the media, sits down with a British journalist for a series of tough interviews. Which leads us to…

1. All the President’s Men (1976). 8 nominations, 2 wins. The Washington Post investigation of Watergate, which started when a presidential campaign conducted espionage against a political opponent. Dogged reporting unveils crimes and deceit at the highest government levels.

Stuart Foxman is a Toronto-based freelance writer, who helps clients’ products, services, ideas and organizations to come alive. Follow me on Twitter @StuartFoxman, connect with me here on LinkedIn, or check me out at I would love to hear from you. More articles like this coming, with original posts every week about communications, writing, branding, creativity, media, marketing, persuasion, messages, etc., etc.

February 22, 2017

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