Well researched investigative journalism plays a big role when it comes to the question whether a news media is considered as a reliable source. Having watched a Hollywood movie about investigative journalism this year, I want to give a short review about it:
The plot of Truth is based on real events and set in the year 2004. The main characters are CBS news producer Mary Mapes who is portrayed by Cate Blanchett and the famous news reporter Dan Rather who is portrayed by Robert Redford. So, we write the year 2004: The presidential elections are imminent and George W. Bush has a good chance to be re-elected. At this time, the CBS comes into possession of important National Guard documents that are leaked to the news producer Mary Mapes. The records from the years 1972–73 throw a bad light on President Bush’s time of military service time, claiming that he used his family relations to avoid the Vietnam War. Mapes, Rather and the bosses of CBS decide to broadcast the story. Immediately, the story is followed by a wave of outrage and the documents are called fakes. I don’t want to spoil anything so watch the movie by yourself and see how it all goes down.
I really enjoyed watching this movie although it is sometimes a bit slow-moving. But if one is interested in investigative journalism and political scandals I would really recommend this movie. Especially Robert Redford does a great job here. Seeing him again in the role of an investigative journalist I had to think of All the President’s Men — an iconic film about journalism and its influence.