The media in general, and journalism and its redheaded stepsister, PR, generally tend to make for pretty dull Hollywood films. However every forty years or so, a movie comes along that gets it right…telling a story full of suspense and plot twists, human weaknesses and moral fortitude that deserves to be seen and recognized. In the mid-seventies, it was “All the President’s Men.” Currently, it’s “Spotlight”…a tale based on the Boston Globe’s award-winning pursuit and revelation of the Catholic Church’s pedophile scandal in late 2001. What’s most memorable about the film is not the horror of what the newspaper revealed as much as the diligence and incredibly hard work that the editorial staff put into its revelation. Very much a behind the scenes look into the world of editorial news…months of painstakingly combing the records, of stalking and winning the confidence of reliable sources, of verifying the facts many times over…and finally conjuring the courage and skill to tell it factually without embellishment. One of the best lines in the movie is toward the end when the editor instructs his reporters to “leave out the adjectives…the facts should stand on their own.”
Indeed. Good advice for any journalist…and any PR pro that wishes to be taken seriously in their world.