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Filmography - The News Media is the Story:: J - M

The history, ethics, business, and practice of journalism

Titles on DVD and streaming video as of August 2014

The News Media is the Story: The history, ethics, business, and practice of journalism

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of August 2014

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible.  All DVDs listed below are located in Media Services on the Lower Level of Bender Library. To search the library’s complete videos holdings (including VHS tapes) search the library catalog at:

The Jayson Blair story: Favoritism and plagiarism at the New York Times. 2006, 1 streaming video file (23 min.).  African-American journalist Jayson Blair has been pilloried as the personification of affirmative action out of control. Was it race that fueled his rapid promotions at The New York Times and prompted management to essentially ignore reports of his inaccurate work? In this ABC News program, correspondent Bob Jamieson chronicles the sensational rise and fall of Jayson Blair. Afterward, anchor Chris Bury talks with Mark Whitaker, editor of Newsweek; Condace Pressley, president of the National Association of Black Journalists; and The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz to assess the impact of the scandal on The Times, the credibility of the news media, and equal opportunity. Streaming video. 

JFK: Breaking the news. 2003, 1 videodisc (2 hrs., 26 min.).  "With the first reports that President John F. Kennedy had been shot in Dallas on November 22, 1963, the world sat riveted, awaiting news bulletins that beamed into living rooms in rapid succession. The shocking events of the weekend that followed touched off the remarkable rise of television as the primary source of breaking news, and set the stage for today's all-news channels"--Container. DVD 1853 

Jihad TV: Terrorism and mass media. 2007, 1 streaming video file (48 min.).  In al Qaeda's global jihad against the West, videos of smiling suicide bombers and insurgent ambushes have become as important as the attacks they glorify. This program illustrates in chilling detail how Islamic extremists use the power of the Internet and the network sound bite. From the markets of Baghdad, where brightly packaged jihadist DVDs are snapped up by young consumers, to the broadcast studios of Al Arabiya, where editors debate the merits and consequences of airing graphic violence, the program explores the inextricable links between media technology and terrorist agendas. One scene features training footage from the Global Islamic Media Front explaining how to use Windows Movie Maker to craft an effective video. DVD 4726 and Streaming video.

Jon Stewart on humor and an informed public. 2007, 1 streaming video file (55 min.).  Jon Stewart is considered one of America's top social and comedic voices. In this program, veteran journalist Bill Moyers interviews Stewart, the long-standing anchor of the award-winning Daily Show with Jon Stewart, about why so many viewers get their news and analysis from his fake news show. Does humor have a role to play in ensuring an informed public? Also on the program, Josh Marshall, influential political blogger, gives his perspective on the role of politics in the recent firings of federal prosecutors and Bill Moyers remembers David Halberstam. Streaming video.

Journalism yesterday and today. 2009, 1 streaming video file (46 min.).  Judging from headline news reports, the evolution of broadcast and print journalism may seem abrupt, but in truth it has been going on for decades. The NewsHour taps longtime industry insiders to provide perspective on the Fourth Estate in flux in this video compilation - a mix of classic and recent segments. Episodes include...* Conversation - David Brinkley: Jim Lehrer talks with iconic newscaster David Brinkley about his lengthy career as a reporter and his book Washington Goes to War. * The Rise of the New News: Terence Smith is joined by distinguished retired broadcaster Marvin Kalb and media personality Bill O'Reilly to discuss changes in the broadcast and cable news industry. Segment also sold as a part of A Changing Industry: The New News. * Conversation - Walter Mears: Terence Smith interviews retired Pulitzer Prize-winning political correspondent Wally Mears on his four-decade journalism career and his book Deadlines Past. * Don Hewitt's Perspective: Terence Smith and Don Hewitt discuss how the news business changed during Hewitt's 36-year tenure as executive producer of 60 Minutes. Streaming video. 

The journalist and the Jihad: The murder of Daniel Pearl. 2007, 1 videodisc (80 min.).  Tracks the tragically parallel lives of the British-born jihadi, Omar Sheikh, whose cunning con-game was the cause of the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 2476 

Journalists under fire: Working in a war zone. 2011, 1 streaming video file (22 min.).  Behind every calmly delivered TV news report is an untold story of on-the-spot decisions, unexpected delays, and last-minute changes. Add to that tension the dangers of working in a war zone and the nightly news becomes quite a drama indeed. In this program, ABC News correspondents, camera operators, producers, and others explain what it takes to record events in dangerous locales such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Israel and then broadcast them to living rooms nationwide. Streaming video.

Julian Assange a modern day hero?: Inside the world of Wikileaks. 2011, 1 videodisc (175 min.).  Julian Paul Assange, is an Australian journalist, publisher and Internet activist, who is best known as the spokesperson and editor in chief for WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website. He has lived in several countries and is constantly on the move as he makes irregular public appearances to speak about freedom of the press and censorship. Assange has won three journalism awards for his work with WikiLeaks. However, does one really know who Julian Assange is, or what he stands for. DVD 8669 

Legacy of a kidnapping: Lindbergh and the triumph of the tabloids. 2000, 1 video file (56 min.).  A Documentary tracing how today's tabloid journalism evolved from one of the landmark events of American mass communications -- the Lindbergh kidnapping case. Media critic Lewis Lapham discovers in this case the origin of many of the afflictions besetting present-day journalism -- infotainment, celebrity anchors, "soft news," papparazzi, the media "feeding frenzy." He presents a detailed reconstruction of the media coverage of the Lindbergh case and of the accused kidnapper Bruno Hauptmann with devastating clips from the "mega-stories" of the present -- the O.J. Simpson trial, Princess Diana's death and the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Streaming video. 

Local news: Changes and consequences. 2005, 1 streaming video file (58 min.).  The banking industry is turning Charlotte, North Carolina, into a boomtown; for WCNC-TV news, the city's growth brings its share of problems. Veteran reporter Bea Thompson became the city's first black female TV news journalist 22 years ago. Now on the verge of being fired, she touches off a protest that escalates into picketing and boycotts. News director Keith Connors and general manager Rick Keilty must scramble to avert a public relations disaster and boost sinking morale at the station. Streaming video. 

Local news: Grace under pressure. 2005, 1 streaming video file (58 min.).  In response to pressure from the station management for higher ratings, WCNC-TV news gets a reformatted program, a new anchor, and a new emphasis on breaking stories, especially in crime coverage. Once again, ethical conflicts arise as news director Keith Connors and his reporters try to determine how much information regarding an ongoing murder case they can air without jeopardizing the police investigation. At the same time, Connors' education reporter confronts the most divisive scene yet in the school busing debate and can barely go to air with the story. The 5 o'clock broadcast is a debacle and Connors must lead as never before. Streaming video.

Local news: There's no place like home. 2005, 1 streaming video file (58 min.).  When news director Keith Connors goes home to Ashtabula, Ohio, for Christmas, he is struck by the contrast with booming Charlotte and realizes why he left to cover news in other people's communities. His former reporter, Bea Thompson, made the opposite bargain, forsaking opportunities elsewhere to serve the city in which she grew up. After Connors orchestrates his news team's coverage of the turn of the millennium, he and the viewers are left to wonder: is WCNC's experiment a shining hope for television journalism or an impossible dream? Streaming video.

Local news: To work a miracle. 2005, 1 streaming video file (58 min.).  When a wave of bomb threats hits Charlotte's schools, newly hired WCNC-TV news director Keith Connors reins in his reporters while the competition rushes to air with misinformation. Connors loses the big story but hopes he is building viewer trust. The station confronts a different ratings dilemma when several white families sue to overturn the city's landmark 1971 school busing plan. As reporters and producers argue over the amount of trial coverage, racial tensions in the newsroom are revealed and Connors must try to reconcile the demands of business, journalism, and community. Streaming video.

Local news: Working team. 2005, 1 streaming video file (58 min.).  Months after his arrival, WCNC-TV news director Keith Connors feels he has assembled a winning team, but beneath the surface the newsroom family is riven by tensions. Promotions and demotions cause the reporters to question their director's motives. One reporter openly rebels after having to cover a story he felt was beneath him. Connors experiences the isolation of leadership's tough decisions as his team's cohesion crumbles. Streaming video. 

Magazine industry. 2005, 1 streaming video file (28 min.).  The Film, TV, and Media Industries. This program examines the evolution of the magazine industry over the course of the 20th century. General-interest magazines like Life and Look once provided a national forum that helped Americans explore their common interests. After World War II, the tremendous impact of television on audience-share caused the magazine industry to focus instead on developing niche publications aimed at consumers and businesses. Time, Ebony, Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated, and People are all spotlighted as examples of magazines that have successfully targeted new audience segments and adapted to changing times and tastes. In addition, the rise of online magazines and their relationship to their print counterparts are examined. The program is an excellent source of information for students of communications, publishing, and contemporary American history. Streaming video.

Manufacturing consent: Noam Chomsky and the media. 2002,  1 videodisc (DVD)(170 min.).  Explores the political life and times of the controversial author, linguist, and radical philosopher Noam Chomsky. Focuses on Chomsky's analysis of the hidden use of ideological manipulation in democratic societies. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 869 

Mashed media: The changing face of journalism. 2011, 1 streaming video file (56 min.).  From the offices of insolvent newspapers to the vibrant yet uncertain online publishing scene, journalists are struggling to reinvent a troubled industry. This program follows bloggers, hackers, independent publishers, and social media mavericks working in the trenches of Chicago, a hub of digital media innovation. Shot over a two-year period, the film focuses on events such as the bankruptcy of the Tribune Co. and the launch and sale of, while featuring interviews with a who's who of 21st-century Chicago publishing-from the Tribune's Bill Adee to EveryBlock's Adrian Holovaty to Andrew Huff of Gapers Block. A provocative look at the future of news reporting-or what passes for it in today's media environment. Streaming video.

The McCarthy years. 2005, 1 videodisc (ca. 114 min.).  Edward R. Murrow collection. Hosted by Mike Wallace, Walter Cronkite, and Dan Rather, explores the life and groundbreaking work of Edward R. Murrow, America's most esteemed broadcast journalist. DVD 1407

Media hype: When news coverage goes too far. 2006, 1 streaming video file (41 min.).  The Center for Media and Public Affairs reports that during the 1990s the homicide rate in the U.S. dropped 50 percent, yet homicide news coverage increased by an incredible 700 percent. In this program, the Center's Bob Lichter and the Threat Assessment Group's Greg McCrary join ABC News anchor John Stossel to examine some of the factors that contribute to the exaggeration of risks and dangers in the news media. Recent stories involving murder, shark attack, road rage, and carjacking are cited as examples of reporting that was skewed by the overuse of frightening headlines and images, incomplete research, and the tacit rule "If it bleeds, it leads. Streaming video. 

Media rights and responsibilities. 2005, 1 streaming video file (28 min.).  Media Power. Tabloid journalism. Kinky TV talk shows. "Gangsta" rap music. Sexually explicit and violent movies. The media have established new outposts in the frontiers of taste that were thought impossible 30 years ago, and all in the name of First Amendment rights and giving the public what it wants. But with these rights come responsibilities that are seldom respected. What leverage can society use beyond the boycott and angry letter to put curbs on the more outrageous forms of media expression? What is the rightful role of government? How do we balance these measures with a healthy respect for creativity and freedom of expression? This program looks at all of the issues surrounding the media's pursuit of the advertising dollar versus its responsibility to exercise some concern for the public good. Streaming video. 

Models of writing reporting. 2008, 1 streaming video file (25 min.).  Models of Non-Fiction Writing. In this program, the widely-respected press and television journalist John Pilger introduces ideas about reporting. He describes his basic training, and some of the editorial constraints on his writing. He advocates principles of simplicity, truthfulness, meticulous checking of facts, and steadfastness in the face of powerful censors. He gives examples of brave reporting by V. H. Russell (of the Crimean War) and W. S. Pritchett (of the Second World War); he admonishes contemporary newspapers, with examples from the tabloid press, for having abandoned what he sees as true journalistic principles, and presents other examples of what he considers appropriate and praiseworthy reporting. Streaming video.

The most dangerous man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. 2009, 1 videodisc (94 min.).  In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a top military strategist working for the RAND Corporation, leaked a 7,000 page document known as the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. Disenchanted with the nation's conduct in Vietnam, Ellsberg believed the release of the top secret paper -- which outlined the "secret history" of the war -- was crucial to educating the public about the government's lies and misdeeds. This documentary chronicles the media and political frenzy that Ellsberg unleashed, and traces the effect of the leak on public perception of both the war and the White House. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 6630 

Moyers & Company: Big Media, Big Money, Big Trouble. 2012,  1 streaming video file (57 min.).  Big money and big media have coupled to create a "Disney World" of democracy in which TV shows, televised debates, even news coverage is being dumbed down, just as the volume is being turned up. The result is a public more entertained, but less informed and personally involved than they should be, says Marty Kaplan, director of USC's Norman Lear Center and an entertainment industry veteran. In this edition of Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers talks with Kaplan about how taking news out of the journalism box and placing it in the entertainment box is hurting democracy and allowing special interest groups to manipulate the system. Later on in the program, Moyers talks about Florida Rep. Allen West and shocking modern-day McCarthyism. Wasn't this lesson already learned? Streaming video. 

The Murdochs: Building an empire. 2005, 1 streaming video file (57 min.).  With operations in Australia, Britain, and the U.S., the Murdoch media conglomerate occupies leading positions in the world of print and broadcast news. This program traces the story of the three-generation Murdoch media dynasty through interviews with a rich cast of family members and their associates, including Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City, and Andrew Neil, former editor for The Sunday Times (London) News clips and home video footage of the Murdochs at work and at play offer powerful insights into what it takes to build a business empire from scratch-and to keep it on top. Streaming video.