22nd January 2024
Media and Pop Culture: The Shows, Films and Books that Tackle the Big Issues

In a world flooded with information, understanding how the news industry produces breaking headlines can be like navigating a maze.

Luckily, there are some interesting books, movies, TV shows, and documentaries that shed light behind the scenes of the news industry and make it a bit easier for us.

Let’s explore how these stories unveil the struggles and concerns within the news media landscape.

The Post (Movie)

The Steven Spielberg directed film was released in 2017 and takes the viewer on a compelling exploration of the news industry, specifically focusing on the vital role of the press in holding those in power accountable. Based on true events surrounding The Washington Post’s decision to publish the Pentagon Papers in the early 1970s, the movie provides valuable insight into the struggle for journalistic integrity and the pursuit of truth in the news industry, which we still see today.

Where can you find it? The Post is available for purchase on Amazon Prime.

The Great Hack (Documentary)

“The Great Hack” peels back the layers of the news industry’s relationship with big data and social media, and may leave you startled at the use and abuse of personal data that is carried out. Released in 2019, directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim, the documentary lays bare the impact felt on the democratic process, particularly in the context of political campaigns.

Where can you find it? The Great Hack is available to watch on Netflix.

Sharp Objects (Novel)

Gillian Flynn’s debut novel is a psychological thriller that weaves a dark narrative. Following a journalist operating in a small town, through its intricate narrative and complex characters, the book sheds light on the challenges faced by journalists, the ethical considerations involved in reporting, and the psychological toll that investigative journalism can take.

Where can you find it? Sharp Objects is available to buy on World Of Books. A TV Series based on the book can be watched on NowTV.

The Newsroom (TV Show)

Created by Aaron Sorkin, The Newsroom takes viewers behind the scenes of a fictional cable news network. It touches on ethical considerations, the impact of corporate interests, the challenges of breaking news, and the idealism that drives many journalists. While a work of fiction, the series provides valuable insights into the complexities and dynamics of the newsroom.

Where can you find it? The Newsroom is available to watch on NowTV.

Nightcrawler (Movie)

Nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 2015 Academy Awards, Nightcrawler is a gripping thriller that provides a dark and intense portrayal of the news industry, specifically focusing on crime journalism in Los Angeles.

Directed by Dan Gilroy and led by Jake Gyllenhaal, the film reveals a chilling exploration of the news industry’s darker aspects, examining the ethical challenges, sensationalism, and competition that can define the pursuit of breaking news. It prompts audiences to reflect on the impact of media practices on society and the responsibilities of journalists in balancing the need for information with ethical considerations.

Where can you find it? Nightcrawler is available to watch on Netflix.

Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator (Book)

Despite being released 11 years ago, Ryan Holiday’s provocative book continues to offer readers a behind-the-scenes look at media manipulation, urging them to be discerning consumers of news and to consider the broader implications of sensationalism and manipulation on public discourse. It delves into the manipulative practices within the news industry, particularly in the digital age.

Where can you find it? Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator is available to buy from World Of Books.

Page One: Inside the New York Times

A documentary that provides an in-depth look into the news industry, with a particular focus on the challenges and transformations faced by one of the world’s most renowned newspapers, The New York Times.

Directed by Andrew Rossi and released in 2011, it offers viewers a deeper understanding of the complexities, ethical considerations, and transformations shaping the field of journalism.

Where can you find it? Page One: Inside the New York Times is available to purchase on Amazon Prime.


Delving into the intricate world of the news industry through the lens of books, movies, TV shows, and documentaries opens a gateway to understanding the abundance of challenges and concerns that are present in the news industry.

These narratives provide more than mere entertainment; they unravel the layers of ethical dilemmas, corporate pressures, and the relentless pursuit of truth that define the industry.


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