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During the term, we saw portions of four movies—“Citizen Kane,” “Sweet Smell of Success,” “Good Night and Good Luck,” and “All the President’s Men.” Describe how each of these movies either represented accurately or distorted William Randolph Hearst, Walter Winchell, Edward R. Murrow and the Watergate scandal. “Citizen Kane” was a movie that was produced in the 1940s by Orson Welles. The movie sought to highlight the flipside life of the media tycoon William Randolph Hearst. The movie outlines the attributes that William Randolph used to propel himself from owning one newspaper in San Francisco to having a dozen chains of newspaper companies in the United States of America. The movie taints the image of William because it highlights that he engaged in various unethical journalistic practices in order to get people to buy his newspapers. When William learnt of the movie, he used his influence to ensure that the movie was not released. This worked for some time but eventually the movie was released. The movie highlighted that some of the news covered in the newspapers owned by William had been fabricated. “Sweet Smell of Success” is a movie which highlights the influence that Walter Winchell had as a journalist. According to the movie, Walter Winchell is a popular columnist whose pieces are read vastly by the American public. However, he uses his influence as a columnist to get favors from influential people. The movie depicts a scenario whereby Walter Winchell uses his column to paint the sister’s fiancé in bad light just because he does not like the man his sister is dating. The movie significantly taints the image of Walter Winchell as a credible journalist. “Good Night and Good Luck” was produced in 2005 and was directed by George Clooney. The movie highlighted the public spat between Joseph McCarthy a US Senator and the renowned media sensational Edward R. Murrow. The movie paints Edward Murrow as a media personality who speaks his mind and whose overall aim is to protect the interests of the American people even if they are against the perceptions of the government. In the movie, Edward R. Murrow criticizes the manner in which McCarthy crusades his perceptions of communism. He furthermore defies pressures of the media firm he is working for in order to give comprehensive news. By doing so, the movie “Good Night and Good Luck” builds the personality of Edward R. Murrow as a good media personality who had public interest at heart. “All the President’s Men” is a movie that depicts the real life situation that was experienced during the Watergate scandal. The movie is evidence that investigative journalism can be used as a tool that can be used to unearth corrupt dealings within the government. The findings of investigative journalism made President Nixon resign from his position. By so doing, investigative journalism serves as an instrument of accountability towards not only the government but also towards institutions and corporations. The movie further outlines the challenges that journalists - Carl Berbstein and Bob Woodward - went through in order to develop a story that is truthful. The movie builds the characters of Carl Berbstein and Bob Woodward as journalists who should be emulated by journalists throughout the world and through time. Question Two
Describe how the early lives of William Randolph Hearst, Henry Luce, Walter Winchell, Edward R. Murrow and Katharine Graham prepared them (or failed to prepare them) for their careers in journalism. Provide support from the readings and lectures. Life is peculiar to each and every individual in this world. It is therefore not strange that William Randolph Hearst, Henry Luce, Walter Winchell, Edward R. Murrow and Katharine Graham had different upbringings. However, despite their different upbringings; they all...