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University of Southern California

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

Passionate and Powerful: Film Depictions of Women Journalists Working in Washington, D.C.

Sammye Johnson


Several themes permeate journalism movies well into the 21st century: the perceived and real power of the press that can be used for good or for evil; the shifting morals and sloppy ethics of the press; and the pursuit of the scoop or exclusive. These three themes are still significant in today’s changing mediascape, and particularly come into play when the work setting is the national seat of power, Washington, D.C. Identifying five characteristics that are shared by women reporters over time, this analysis of Up Close and Personal, Thank You for Smoking, Lions for Lambs, and State of Play reveals that the female reporter remains independent, aggressive, and self-assured.

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