Monday, January 24, 2011

Seeing the story, not the spin

The best line in the movie satire Morning Glory is delivered by Rachel McAdams as a young executive producer to a curmudgeonly Harrison Ford who, in his Morley Saferlike character, still believes that news is a matter of reporting the facts with integrity. 

"The world has been debating news versus entertainment for years, and guess what? You lost," she says. The line is funny, timely and acutely indicative of the brave new world of news as "infotainment" that shapes our kids' understanding of the world around them and its values.

It is also indicative of the critical need for an objective media analysis course as part of a 21st-century social studies or journalism curriculum.