A space for students to share questions (and answers) based on their readings and research for the course.
Now that we are way past the point in the film when reporters began to report the reality of the news rather than entertainment; when my internet decided to disconnect, I will say it again.That reminded me of something I read for our homework assignment for which we had to find a vertical file from the archives. I found the file about the building and opening of Rockefeller Center. The file absolutely glamorized the situation and brought back the "royal" feel of old Hollywood during the Depression.The same thing was done with these news reels. They only aired entertainment and no "real" news. It's as if no one wanted to acknowledge or accept what was actually going on. Broadcasting only wanted to highlight what good was left and wanted to lift up America.Then came the men who wanted to show the riots and protests against the loss of jobs and the Depression itself. Those news reels were rejected. But those reporters continued to show their footage and they ended up paving the way for what we know as news now.My question is, if these men remained scared to show their footage and news reels, would we still know news as it is today?
The section that got me the most was when the news reels were released to the farmers during the great depression. News reels of domestic struggle weren't really allowed in the theaters, and most people did not have a true sense of what was going on in the country. Bringing the news that things were bad just about everywhere was one of the first examples of how an event can really affect everybody, and that farmers could get a look into the poverty of the city, and city goers could get a look inside the struggles of the farmers. It was really a powerful moment because it made the country feel much smaller, that you could know what another group of people were facing, rather than just speculate.
I personally cant believe that it was considered journalism. The core principle of our profession is honesty and truthfulness and that was absent with newsreals. I was just shocked with how much of it was staged and outraged that it was ok to to that back then.
I kind of love it. I think it's hilarious that so much WWII action happened in New Jersey and that the most elaborate news footage could be produced for something like $3 in a New York City studio. Is it right? Probably not, unless like the March of Time you admitted it was an exaggeration. Still, I think it's a riot how over these few short years news went from being a man made creation, with whole industries dedicated to it's fabrication to being a industry that values objectivity and truthful reporting above all else.