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Filmography - The News Media is the Story:: N - R

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:

News from the holy land: Theory and practice of reporting conflict. 2006, 1 streaming video file (51 min.).  Is Western media coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict hindering the peace process? This hard-hitting program says yes, arguing that news reports focusing on violence without sufficiently addressing the causes promote bias and polarize public opinion. Examples of TV news stories that could provide a more accurate reflection of what is taking place in Israel and the West Bank-and, by extension, anywhere a vicious cycle of violence exists-are featured. An excellent jumping-off point for a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances of TV journalism and the ongoing violence in the Holy Land. Streaming video. 

News media convergence: Key to synergy or mediocrity? 2005, 1 streaming video file (14 min.).  Thanks to favorable regulatory changes and the lure of greater profits, newspapers, broadcasters, and cable outlets are merging in an effort to tap each other's resources in the print, TV, and Internet news arenas. Will merger mania pave the way for faster and more dynamic reportage? Or will a slackening of competition allow news to become bland and homogeneous? In this program, Al Tompkins, of The Poynter Institute; Bob Haiman, of The Freedom Forum; and others air their views with NewsHour correspondent Terence Smith. They also share concerns over the danger to democracy of a free press stripped of editorial diversity. Streaming video. 

News war. 2007, 1 video file (270 min.).  Secrets, Sources & Spin Part 1 examines the political and legal forces challenging the mainstream news media today and press reactions. The film looks at the debates over the role of journalism; the relationship between the Bush administration and the press; the controversies surrounding the use of anonymous sources in reporting; and the unintended consequences of the Valerie Plame investigation -- a confusing, ugly affair that ultimately damaged the legal protections reporters' thought they enjoyed under the First Amendment. Part 2 continues with the legal jeopardy faced by a number of reporters across the country, and the complications generated by the war on terror. Many reporters face jail for refusing to reveal sources in the context of leak investigations, while editors of the nation's leading newspapers now confront the question of how much can the press reveal about secret government programs in that war without jeopardizing national security? In What's Happening to the News (Pt. 3), network executives, journalists, Wall Street analysts, bloggers, and key players at Google and Yahoo! explain the battle for survival in a rapidly changing world. The embattled Los Angeles Times, one of the last remaining papers in the country still covering major national stories, is profiled. The Frontline/World (4th) segment Story from a small planet: War of ideas focuses on two stories. The first is on new Arab media and its role in both mitigating and exacerbating the clash between the West and Islam. Al Jazeera has changed the face of a parochial and tightly controlled Arab media, and this hour explores Al Jazeera's growing influence around the world. The second is a video essay on journalists worldwide, which details how in many countries the press has been suppressed, and journalists have been jailed, exiled, and murdered. DVD 2621 €“ DVD 2624 and Streaming video. 

Newspaper industry. 2005, 1 streaming video file (28 min.).  The Film, TV, and Media Industries. In 1923 more than 500 American cities had two or more competing daily newspapers, but in the 90s that number dwindled to a mere 36. This program spotlights the cross-town rivalry between The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News, offering insight into some of the benefits and drawbacks of competition for the same readership. In addition, it provides an engaging overview of America's oldest mass media industry. Some of the topics examined include the continual pressure for newspapers to adapt, the evolution of content, family versus conglomerate ownership, editorial and operations decision-making, the daily production life cycle, and the role of advertisers. The program is an excellent tool for understanding where the newspaper industry has been and where it is going. Streaming video. 

Now with Bill Moyers: John Nichols and Robert McChesney on the media and democracy. 2005, 1 streaming video file (50 min.).  In this program, media experts John Nichols and Robert McChesney join Bill Moyers to examine America's corporate media machine and the dire implications of closed-door deregulatory decisions. Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation, and McChesney, author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times, discuss, among other topics, the pernicious influence of corporate interests on the free press, which they contend have become a major barrier to the exercise of democracy. Streaming video. 

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's war on journalism. 2004, 1 videodisc (ca. 78 min.).  Documentary on the reported conservative bias of Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News Channel (FNC), which promotes itself as "Fair and Balanced."  Material includes interviews with former FNC employees and the inter-office memos they provided. DVD 922 

Page one: Inside the New York Times. 2011, 1 videodisc (92 min.).  This documentary chronicles the transformation of The New York Times newsroom and the inner workings of the Media Desk, as the Internet redefines the media industry by surpassing print as the main source of news. At the heart of the film is the burning question on the minds of everyone who cares about a rigorous American press, Times lover or not: what will happen if the fast-moving future of media leaves behind the fact-based, original reporting that helps to define our society? This up-close look at factors and actors that produce the "daily miracle" of a great news organization is a nuanced portrait of journalists continuing to produce extraordinary work under increasingly difficult circumstances. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 9227 

The paper. 2007, 1 videodisc (78 min.).  By chronicling for a year the publication of Penn State University's Daily Collegian--one of the nation's leading student newspapers, with a 200-person staff and a circulation rivaling that of many small-town newspaper--this documentary reveals the many challenges and issues with which young journalists must contend. These range from ethical considerations, sensitizing reporters and editors to diversity issues, and dealing with circulation woes, to struggling for access to news sources and, above all, trying to determine whether they should be informing or entertaining their readers. Explores the media from the fresh perspective of tomorrow's journalists. But the young reporters' dilemmas and decisions raise complicated questions about the role of the press in society. DVD 6557 

Peace, propaganda, & the promised land: U.S. media & the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 2004, 2 videodiscs (78 min.).  This documentary contends that the foreign policy interests of American political elites, working in combination with Israeli public relations strategies, exercise a powerful influence over news reporting about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Combines U.S. and British television news footage with observations from analysts, journalists, and political activists. Examines the factors that have distorted the United States' media coverage and, in turn, American public opinion. DVD 1928

The Photographic Age (1935-1959). 2011, 1 streaming video file (60 min.).  American Photography: A Century of Images. The 1930s brought to all Americans the explosion of mass media devoted to distributing photographic images. Magazines like Life and Look - dedicated to telling stories, primarily through photographs - were rapidly growing in popularity. An Associated Press "wire photo" could be sent anywhere instantaneously, and suddenly, millions of people were seeing the same pictures at the same time. Through archival footage and interviews with journalists, historians, and notable photographers, The Photographic Age depicts how documentary photographers brought the Depression into the living rooms of America, how Americans experienced World War II through the visual immediacy of the camera, and how the consumer frenzy of the 1950s was driven by our desire to possess the images of abundance. Streaming video. 

The Prime minister and the press: State of Italian media. 2006, 1 streaming video file (57 min.).  The Wide Angle Collection: Human Stories, Global Issues . With his vast media empire, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is Italy's richest man. This Wide Angle documentary explores questions about the independence of the Italian media under Berlusconi, analyzing the effect of his combination of political power and personal ownership of a large sector of the press. Clearly illustrating the impediments that the Berlusconi machine placed before the country's leading critical voices-including Marco Travaglio, one of Italy's most prominent investigative journalists-the program shows how Berlusconi gained prominence and explores what happens to public debate when wealth and political power dominate the fourth estate. In addition, author Alexander Stille discusses Berlusconi and the media with anchor Jamie Rubin. Streaming video.

Print history. 2005, 1 streaming video file (28 min.).  The Story of Film, TV, and Media A single issue of The New York Times is said to contain more information than could be learned in a lifetime by a person living in the 15th century. This program traces the development of books, newspapers, and magazines in the Western world, from the invention of the printing press, metal type, paper, and oil-based ink to the present day. Experts from the Smithsonian Institution, Harvard University Press, MIT, and The New York Times discuss the effect of print technology on the spread of Martin Luther's doctrines and the Reformation; printing in colonial America; advances stimulated by the Industrial Revolution, the Civil War, and the Trans-Continental Railroad; Mergenthaler's Linotype machine; Yellow Journalism; and the impact of Time magazine. Permanence and portability, in combination with affordability and ease of replication, have made the printed word a vital form of mass communication that is unlikely to be replaced even in the age of the Internet. Streaming video. 

Print news. 2005, 1 streaming video file (28 min.).  The Film, TV, and Media Industries Although advances in telecommunications and computer technology have changed the way news is covered and written, the role of the journalist-to gather the facts and report the news in a way that will engage a mass audience-has remained the same. In this program, staff members of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, the Rocky Mountain News, and The Denver Post talk about how they decide what to include in each day's newspaper, the trend towards greater objectivity, the need to avoid undue influence, the Woodward and Bernstein watershed in investigative journalism, and the role of news services like the Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg. The program is a source of valuable information on what it is like to work in present-day newspaper journalism. Streaming video.

The Progressive Era.  2006, 1 streaming video file (31 min.).  America in the 20th Century  During the presidencies of Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson, America was witness to so many political, corporate, and social reforms that the period came to be known as the Progressive Era. This program provides an excellent overview of the times, underscoring the importance of women's suffrage, the Square Deal, the temperance movement, and other signal initiatives. In addition, many of the era's movers and shakers are spotlighted, including Upton Sinclair, Eugene Debs, Jane Addams, Jacob Riis, Ida Tarbell, and "Battling Bob" LaFollette. Correlates to standards from the National Council for the Social Studies. Streaming video.

The public mind: Image and reality in America. 2006, 4 videodiscs (240 min.).  Moyers collection Examines the impact on democracy of our mass culture in which basic information comes from image-making, the media, public opinion polls, public relations and propaganda. DVD 5891 - 5894

Radio history. 2006, 1 streaming video file (28 min.).  The Story of Film, TV, and Media This program tells the complete story of radio, from its roots in Marconi's wireless telegraphy and the invention of the vacuum tube by Lee De Forest, to its heyday in the 1930s and subsequent upstaging by television in a battle for audience-share. Academic experts discuss the impact of early innovators like Frank Conrad of station KDKA, Pittsburgh, who broadcasted from his garage; the power of personalities to influence mass audiences, citing FDR, Edward R. Murrow, and Orson Welles as examples; radio's role as a vehicle for delivering mass audiences to advertisers; and the superior ability of the radio to entertain and actively engage listeners in the "theater of the mind. This program provides an intriguing look at America's once-dominant mass medium. Streaming video. 

Real-life journalists in movies and television 1931-2003. 2005, 1 videodisc (120 min.).  Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture video. A video compilation containing 61 movie and television clips tracing the image of the journalist in films and television from 1931 to 2003 featuring real-life journalists or actors portraying real-life journalists or movies based on the lives of real-life journalists. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 2312 

Red lines and deadlines: Inside Iran's reformist media. 2006,  1 streaming video file (58 min.).  The Wide Angle Collection: Human Stories, Global Issues. Twenty-five years after the Islamic Revolution, Iran is struggling for political reform. Some of the most visible signs of struggle can be found in the nation's media. This Wide Angle documentary goes behind the scenes at Shargh, one of Iran's new pro-reform newspapers, illustrating its efforts to report the news without incurring the "blade of censorship"-an ever-present threat from Iranian authorities. Showing how Shargh has quickly cultivated a loyal readership among Iran's intellectuals, opinion-makers, politicians, and youth, the program features eye-opening scenes of daring young journalists covering Iran's controversial 2005 presidential elections. In addition, Judith Kipper discusses Iran with anchor Bill Moyers. Streaming video.

The reel world of news. 2010, 1 streaming video file (53 min.).  A Walk Through the 20th Century with Bill Moyers. In 1911, the first newsreels flickered in America's nickelodeons. In the mid-1960s, they vanished from movie theaters as nightly television newscasts came to dominate visual journalism. In between, newsreels grew into a unique 20th-century institution that informed and entertained whole generations. In this program, Bill Moyers conducts a tour of the cultural and political landscape so dramatically rendered by the American newsreel. Accompanied by a rich tapestry of archival clips, Moyers talks with the announcers, composers, and cameramen who still relish memories of jostling and hustling to catch the parade of history on film. Streaming video. 

Reflections on media ethics. 2011, 1 videodisc (ca. 23 min.).  "Deals with the topic of morals, ethics and values, with an emphasis on media. While the topic of "ethics" dates back to the days of Aristotle, "media ethics"--and the related issues of privacy, censorship, truth, the manipulation of public interest, and the representation of under-served populations--are of great relevance at this time. Through in-depth discussions with renowned filmmakers, journalists and academics, Reflections of media examines many of these important issues. It includes interviews with Noam Chomsky, Albert Maysles, George Stoney, Amy Goodman, Jon Alpert and Mary Warnock."--Container. DVD 7772 

Reporters and reporting. 1989, 1 streaming video file (218 min.).  A brilliant program, this thoughtful and analytical quartet of videos probes the moral questions that plague journalists: What is the truth and whose truth is it? Is there such a thing as true objectivity? What does it mean when the same picture can be used to illustrate opposite points of view? What distortions are introduced by the journalist's own ego-to be first, best, most artistic, most insightful? These programs show how reporters have to contend with editors and producers who are concerned with selling their products or who want to impose a particular interpretation, and with the actors in the actual drama-who may wish to control or manipulate their story, or prevent its being told, or who distrust the journalist seeking to tell it. This four-part program offers painstaking interviews with many leading journalists: Bob Woodward, Gordon Parks, Barbara Kopple, and also many French and German reporters whose thoughtful analyses of their work as they see it are spoken in their native languages and subtitled in English. The narration throughout is in English.Part 1: The Force of EvidenceThe same picture, interpreted differently, with a different frame of reference. What is the truth? What makes a document the emblem of truth? Reporters interviewed include Erich Lessing, Jimmy Fox, Robert Lebeck, Christophe de Ponfilly, Peter Scholl Latour, Laurence Deonna, and Donald McCullin.Part 2: The Risk of InquiryHow an element is used to define the whole and how the reporter must merge into the scene to capture its truth. Reporters interviewed include Thomas Hopker, Jean Luc Porquet, Leo Hurwitz, Gordon Parks, Gunter Wallraff, and Miguel Littin.Part 3: The Passion for DiscoveryDo reporters seek out danger because they are at heart adventurers? Do they covet the power given them by their own cameras? How can the reporter maintain his or her distance while still capturing the emotion of the event? Reporters interviewed include Jean Gaumy, Wilfred Thesiger, Gerard Gery, Marc Riboud, Robert Lebeck, and Susan Meiselas.Part 4: The Power of InvestigationWhere is the line between objectivity and subjectivity? The magazine story as antidote to the television news. Stories that can't be filmed live and are reconstructed-falsified. Reporters interviewed include Frederic Laffont, Claude Torracinta, Duncan Campbell, Edwy Plenel, Robert Richter, Esther Cassidy, and Barbara Kopple.(3 hours 38 minutes). Streaming video.

Reporting America at war a film. 2003, 1 videodisc (180 min.).  Explores the role of American journalists in the pivotal conflicts of the 20th century--and beyond. "From San Juan Hill to the beaches of Normany, from the jungles of Vietnam to the Persian Gulf, the three-hour documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Stephen Ives tells the dramatic and often surprising stories of the reporters who brought the wars home to us. Features profiles of such distinguished historical figures as Richard Harding Davis, Edward R. Murrow and Ernie Pyle, as well as conversations with some of the most influential correspondents of our time - including Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, David Halberstam, Morley Safer, Peter Arnett, Christiane Amanpour, and Chris Hedges." -from container. DVD 693 

Reporting on terrorism: News media and public health. 2006,  1 streaming video file (58 min.).  How should the news media prepare for and cope with a potential bioterrorist attack? In this Fred Friendly Seminar, Professor Michael Dorf of the Columbia University School of Law and 12 panelists role-play a hypothetical scenario that begins in a city hospital where a spike in a flu-like illness causes the ER staff to confront a chilling possibility: that it is not the flu at all, but something far worse. What should the ER do with the overflow of patients? Send them home? What if they are contagious? When does bioterrorism become a possible cause? When should the health department be contacted? When will the public find out, and what will their reaction be? What is the job of the journalists covering this story? Should they report the story when the health department is uncertain of the diagnosis but rumors are flying and the public is clamoring for information? A lively panel wrestles with these and a host of other dilemmas. Panelists include Douglas Clifton, editor of The Plain Dealer (Cleveland); Jerome Hauer, former acting assistant secretary for public health emergency preparedness at the Department of Health and Human Services; Joseph Henderson, associate director of terrorism preparedness at the CDC; Seattle Chief of Police R. Gil Kerlikowske; Paula Madison, president and general manager of KNBC-TV, in L.A.; Boston Mayor Thomas Menino; Lewis Nelson, M.D., of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Bellevue Hospital; Frank Sesno, former Washington bureau chief of CNN; and Kathleen Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Division of Public Health at the Georgia Department of Human Resources. Streaming video.

Rupert Murdoch: Media emperor. 2008, 1 streaming video file (53 min.).  How did the heir to a small Australian newspaper become the ruler of a global media empire? How has he altered the face of publishing, broadcasting, media consumption, and even politics? This program examines the career of Rupert Murdoch, focusing on his creation of highly successful media establishments at the expense, many say, of substance and journalistic integrity. Outlining Murdoch's upbringing and sink-or-swim appropriation of the family business, the film describes his entry into British publishing, the violent labor conflicts it touched off, and his eventual expansion into television and worldwide media. Expert commentary comes from Jon Fine of BusinessWeek, Emma Duncan of The Economist, and FAIR founder Jeff Cohen. Streaming video.