9 movies and TV shows which will remind you why you love journalism

Written by Rachael Ward

It’s easy to become a bit jaded about studying journalism when there seems to be no light at the end of the uni/work/interning/volunteering/networking/sleeping tunnel. It’s exhausting.

You’ll get through it, but sometimes you need a bit of a reminder of why you got yourself into it in the first place.

All the President’s Men  

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We’ll start with the big guns. Woodward and Bernstein are about as superstar as you can get in this profession, as the journalists who uncovered the Watergate scandal which brought down President Nixon. Bonus: This is Robert Redford and Dustan Hoffman in their prime.

The Newsroom


This is firmly Aaron Sorkin’s newsroom, it’s walk-and-talk, sermon-delivering drama at it’s finest. It will remind you of just how great getting to the bottom of a story is and why it’s good to work with people who ‘get’ why you do what you do. The further I go with my studies, the more impressed I am Jeff Daniel’s character could deliver his bulletins/sermons without an autocue.


This Working Dog show is a must-watch for anyone aspiring to work in an Australian newsroom. It’s a razor-sharp take on news an current affairs which will remind you of how fun it is, and also serve as a great guide on what not to do.


The dramatic arc of Frost/Nixon relies on the talent drunk calling the interviewer at midnight, so possibly not the most likely way to get a scoop but definitely the most entertaining. This dramatization of the circumstances surrounding a series of interviews post-Watergate Nixon gave to TV presenter David Frost is a reminder what good research and perseverance will get you – as well as $600,000. It’s not completely historically accurate but portrays the drive to get an exclusive and the circus surrounding the Presidential resignation.


How often is a move tag ‘based on a Pulitzer-prize winning investigation’? Holding truth to power doesn’t come much bigger than this – uncovering child sexual abuse in the predominantly Irish-Catholic city of Boston, USA. This Best Picture Oscar winning drama will remind you of the power of persevering, making contacts and the complexities of reporting from within tight-knit communities.

The Devil wears Prada

Who could watch The Devil Wears Prada and not be seduced by the glossy life of  travel, clothes, socializing and working at the height of fashion? Just don’t over think how real it all is – although the story is infamously based on Lauren Weisberger’s time as an assistant to Vogue Editor Anna Wintor. Watch it to remind you of the ridiculous amount of behind the scenes work that goes into any journalism but how loving something so much makes the hard yards worth it. At least that’s how it’s sold.

His Girl Friday

Possibly the only love triangle to be set against the backdrop of an impending execution. The movie centers around a hard-nosed editor (Carey Grant ) trying to break up the impending marriage of his start reporter and ex-wife (Rosalind Russell) and her fiancé (Ralph Bellamy). It explores the tough newspaper world, the draw of an exclusive story and tensions between career and family in a thoroughly golden-ear-of-hollywood way. It’s got all the charm and wit of classic movies from the 1940s, along with with 40’s opinions on women, marriage and smoking.



Morning glory

Harrison Ford is a Serious News Journalist who hates soft news and starts working on Breakfast Television. What could possibly go wrong? This entertaining and lighthearted look at television will remind you of the exciting an fast-paced speed of live TV.

State of play

This miniseries shines a light on the interconnected worlds of politics and journalism, against the backdrop of sudden death and investigating the reach of oli-lobbiests. It highlights the personal toll of high-stakes investigations, and how good it feels to hold bastards to account. John Simm stars as a determined journalist investigating the death of a parliamentary staffer, the lynchpin of a stellar cast including Kelly Macdonald, James McAvoy and Bill Nighy as the Editor-in Chief of your dreams.

About the author

Rachael Ward