In the film “Contagion” that hit theaters in early September of this year, actor Jude Law plays a freelance journalist who communicates his views via writing and videos on his blog. The film is about the outbreak of a newly discovered virus that spreads at a rapid rate, leaving the world in a panic. Law’s character begins to publicly question the actions and information being released by the government and urges citizens to not take what they hear at face value. He investigates further on his own into the virus itself and alternative treatments while constantly having to defend himself as a reliable source and credible journalist.
The clip below shows Law approaching a biological researcher who is studying the virus. Watch how Law’s character has to fight for a quote and is not seen as a ‘real’ journalist by the researcher.
Video provided by HitFix.com via YouTube.
This question has been raised before and will probably still be a topic of discussion the more casual media like Twitter become the new shorthand news outlets.
While Law’s character is a questionable reporter and source of news in the film, he represents an interesting debate in journalism. Can bloggers be considered ‘real’ journalists? There are popular news outlets with bigger agendas than that of a civilian blogger, so who’s to say what is considered journalism and what’s not?
I think the blog world is one that dances on the line between news and opinion. A lot of bloggers, like Law’s character are interested in expanding the conversation beyond the government and official news outlets in order to keep the freedom of speech alive. This is vital in the evolution of technology and the sharing of information and thoughts through the internet.
My opinion is that blogs play a key role in diversifying the kind of information and the presentation of information out there. Blogs can be iffy in some cases when it comes to accuracy and quality of content, but as long as people understand the purpose of blogs and their limitations, I think there is room for the blogging community to have a hand in some journalistic aspects.