A Great Day for “Spotlight” and Journalism

It was quite late, but there was no way I was going to fall asleep before I heard “Best Picture” announced.
And it was worth the loss of sleep.
“Spotlight” took the Oscar.
The temptation to have a Woodward and Bernstein moment is overwhelming, but we do need to remember times are very different from the “All the President’s Men” days.
Today surveys show journalists are not respected. We’re down around used car salesmen on the list of least trusted professions. That really stings.
Maybe, just maybe, “Spotlight” being recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will wake a few people up. Maybe these people will start to realize there are real, professional journalists in this country. In this world. Real reporters knocking on doors and making phone calls and following leads and doing interminable research to get to the truth. The truth. Facts. Not opinion. Not appearances. Not innuendo. Not what somebody’s Aunt Eloise posted on Facebook.
There are still working reporters willing to fulfill the mantra of true journalism in the words of Finley Peter Dunne: “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
And maybe, just maybe, a few really good, smart, tough young people are among those who saw the movie. People willing to pay their dues by sitting through interminable planning board meetings and slogging through the snow to a plane crash site and taking photos of the mayor’s nephew with his first deer. And maybe, somewhere, there will be a job.
Those thoughts feel pretty good.


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