I just finished watching The Paper, Shattered Glass (Vanity Fair article about the true story) and The Killing Fields (New York Times article about Dith Pran, one of the central figures in the film) all in a row for a show I’m doing with a friend on the local public access channel. It was essentially an afternoon packed with reporting.
Between the three there were a litany of pitfalls alongside poignent examples of why reporting is so crucial. Two are based on true stories. They would be striking enough if they were fiction.
I love reporting. When I go back to work after a weekend it never feels like work. It is about trying to catch myself up on what happened over the last few days to try to fill everyone else in. I love it.
But the impact of reporting—whether the story is about about a candidate for selectman with a criminal record or genocide in Cambodia—is central to our democracy. Through all of three movies, even the one filed under fiction, that central tenant of journalism holds true. It holds true for me as well, and that’s why I love it.
Click here to see photos of and by Dith Pran, or here to see a video. They are all worth it. Pran died of cancer in 2008.