AFI Fest: MEET THE PRESS SHORTS 1: When the News Becomes the News

AFI Fest: MEET THE PRESS SHORTS 1: When the News Becomes the News

For me, as an avid film person, for a lot of years, I never thought I would have gotten to where I am today within the world of being a ‘critic.’ A few weeks back, I covered the Nashville Film Festival. It was amazing, but today and over the next week, I am tackling one of the biggest festivals of the year, AFI Fest.

So I hope you enjoy this ride along with me as I cover films that range from Short Films to Documentaries to New Auteurs to World Cinema and so much more.

When The News Hits Home: A Year Inside The Capital Gazette

The 2018 shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper left five people dead, exposing not only the danger many journalists face but reminding the public of the essential role local journalism plays in communities large and small.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Every day you’re here, it’s another day farther away from what happened.

When these people woke up on the morning of June 28th, they went to work like it was any other day. A heinous act by a shooter changed these workers’ lives for the rest of their lives.

John McNamara, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters, Rebecca Smith, and Rob Hiaasen. These are the names that lost their lives that day.

As we approach the first anniversary, the paper decides to cover what transpired and listening to the pain, anxiety, and struggle, the flashbacks they deal with are hard to hear. Juggling the words to say while also reliving the moments, I know it is not easy. I sit here and type this. The chills run down my spine. I’ve experienced what it is like to write about a hurtful past.

The trickle-down effect of this heinous act was hard to watch, and understand that they are still reeling and fighting. It was emotional, heartbreaking, troubling, moving, and downright sad.

Sustained Outrage

Eight months after the family-owned Charleston Gazette-Mail won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, the Gazette-Mail grappled with a painful reality: bankruptcy ahead of a sale.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

‘Follow the pills and you’ll find the overdose deaths’

The bond of reporters, the passion behind their story-telling, and witnessing them come together to tackle the local story of the opioids. The time, the money, the research, and to watch the entire thing pay off with them winning the Pultizer Prize was terrific to witness.

How the mighty have fallen as we see the company go from Pultizer to bankruptcy. Jobs on the line, live on the line, never know what will happen next.

We see first hand how the importance of journalism should not be taken lightly. We need fair and responsible journalism that challenges those who don’t want to be challenged.

While not perfect, the in-depth look at the highs and lows of journalism was nice to see.

Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.

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