No Valentine’s Day plans? Check out 5 shows and movies available to stream that are perfect for the single journalist

Valentine’s Day is once again upon us. People will share the day with their significant other, eating a special dinner and making goo-goo eyes at each other from across the table.

But some journalists have an intimate relationship with their careers. We make those goo-goo eyes at an incredible lead and think all day about who would make the perfect source for a story.

Our journalism affairs can make for some lonely Valentine’s Days. Fortunately, Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services have some amazing journalism-centric movies and television shows. Some are sanctimonious and some are difficult to take serious; however, I suspect more than one of us have imagined what it would be like to be working side-by-side for Lou Grant or Carl Kolchak.

If you’re looking for some journalism-style entertainment this Valentine’s Day, check out one of the seven programs listed below. You won’t be disappointed.

6. Page One: Inside the New York Times: This documentary looks at the inner-workings of the New York Times. Cameras follow David Carr and other Times reporters and editors as they work to put the Grey Lady together. It’s available on Netflix.

5. Broadcast News: A comedy, of sorts, staring Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter and William Hurt. The movie is an interesting look at serious, hard-news journalists (played by Brooks and Hunter) in television news compared to reporters who simply look good on television with little background in news reporting (Hurt). The movie is available on Netflix. Clips of the movie are available on Hulu.

4. Kolchak: The Night Stalker: I’m not talking about the reboot version ABC premiered in the 2000s – this is the amazing 1970s monster-of-the week television show staring Darren McGavin as an Independent News Service reporter who is always finding stories of vampires, zombies and other such monsters in Chicago. Anyone who enjoyed the X-Files will get a kick out of this one. It’s available on Netflix.

3. House of Cards: The award-winning show about political ruthlessness is set to return with a new season on Netflix on Feb. 14. While the entire show is amazing, journalists could potentially use it in a drinking game. Each time the character Zoe Barnes makes an ethical breach any journalist would recognize, take a shot. The show is available on Netflix.

2. Portlandia: The IFC show does a great job of peppering in journalism references throughout its first three seasons (which are available on Netflix, while Hulu has clips of the show available). One show has the Portland newspaper taken over by a digital startup, where SEO-friendly celebrity gossip is rewarded and hard-hitting news is ignored. The situation might hit too close to home for some journalists these days, but it’s worth a watch.

1. Lou Grant: This is the best-of-the-best in journalism television shows before The Newsroom came along. Lou Grant has left Marry, Murray, Ted and television news in Minneapolis for a job as a hard-news metro editor at a Los Angeles- based newspaper. The show deals with journalism ethics issues that continue to be relevant and can really get the journalism excitement flowing in moments of professional doubt. The show is available on Hulu.

Honorable Mention – The Paper: This 1994 comedy staring Michael Keaton and Glen Close cannot be streamed via Netflix or Hulu, but is available on iTunes, and definitely worth a rental or purchase. The shows how crazy a metro news room can be, with each character – even the minor ones – chasing a story; some relevant to the front-page story, while others have responsibilities below the fold. Watch it a few times and you’ll see each editor and reporter either gets his or her story by press time or has to kill it.

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  • David Brandt… who?

    Glad to see someone else give props to “The Paper.” You can also view it on Amazon Instant Video if you’re a fancy-schmancy Prime customer like me.

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