Various journalism films often investigate specific features of the profession such as the ethical conduct of journalists, modern trends of the media and the history of the media. In doing this, either the films often portray journalists as heroes or villain depending on the angle of criticism a film adopts as portrayed in the discussion below.
Media is one of the most powerful arms of the society. Also referred to as the fourth estate, the media informs, influences opinion and protects the vulnerable in the society. Such vital functions require the journalist to undertake their functions with fidelity both to the profession and to the society. Journalists have often behaved in ways that justify their portrayal either as heroes or as ant-heroes in the various journalism films. The role of the radio in the Rwandan genocide for example are some of the occurrences that validates the portrayal of journalists as anti-heroes thereby validating the themes some of the journalism films. The case of Rwanda is an example of the situations in which journalists act unethically and without objectivity. Additionally, journalists engage in various under dealings in their attempt to scoop new stories. Among the common types of unethical conduct, include bribing news sources and offering sexual favors especially by female journalists. In other cases, journalists are proactive and inquisitive individual who unearth numerous scandals in the society thus protecting the interest of the weak and vulnerable in the society. Journalism films often capture both sides depending on the plot of a story in a film (McNair, 2010).
Films are cultural products that just as any other type of art always represent the prevailing social features. Developers of films observe the prevailing cultural and social features, which they represent artistically in films. On doing this, the developers enjoy the freedom and ability to criticize the society using fictional characters.