The Image of the War Correspondent
in Movies and Television


NOTE: There is some profanity and nudity and racism in this video. Please screen privatelybefore showing it to your class. Films to check out would include Apocalypse Now; Dogs of War; Angkor: Cambodia Express; Under Fire; The Killing Fields; Salvador; The Time for Cherries; Pretty Village; Pretty Flame; Three Kings; Harrison’s Flowers; Escape From Afghanistan; War Stories; Over There; Embedded Live; Blood Diamond; The Hunting Party.

Here are some suggested lesson plans using this video or supplementing it by showing the complete films excerpted on the video:

1. Compare and contrast the image of the war correspondent decade by decade. How has itchanged? What are the similarities and differences between print journalists and television journalists?

2. Discuss the ethics of being a war correspondent. When in a war zone, is a war correspondent’s allegiance to country or journalism? Is accuracy and fairness more important than patriotism?

3. Discuss the female war correspondent. Why is it more difficult for a woman to be a war correspondent than a man? What are the special problems a female war correspondent faces in covering conflict? Discuss the differences and similarities between female and male war correspondents.

4. Compare and contrast the war correspondent as depicted in films of the 1940s with the war correspondent as depicted in the films of the 1980s. Similarities and differences.

5. Compare the depiction of real-life war correspondents (Ernie Pyle’s The Story of G.I. Joe, The Killing Fields) with the depiction of fictional war correspondents. Similarities and differences.