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University of Southern California

The IJPC Journal, Volume 5 - Fall 2013 - Spring 2014

The Image of the Washington Journalist in Movies and Television: 1932 to 2013

Joe Saltzman, Liz Mitchell


In the first study of its kind, images of the Washington, D.C. journalist in 127 English-speaking movies and television programs from 1932 to 2013 are examined. Each film and television program is viewed, excerpted, and categorized by decade, genre, gender, ethnicity, media category, job title, and description (evaluation of the image presented by each journalist or group of journalists on a subjective scale from very positive and positive to negative and very negative and neutral). The Washington journalist is one of the more heroic images of the journalist in popular culture. Positive images of the Washington journalist reassure the public that these journalists are protecting its interests, while negative images show that even the fourth estate is susceptible to influence and corruption.

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