Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Hour of Dying Safely

The message that "The Year of Living Dangerously" communicates is a profound one. Through the experiences of reporter Guy Hamilton in Jakarta, we see journalism being interwoven with trust and loyalty. We see that good journalism is more than simple objectivity and getting a "juicy" story. And that true objectivity maybe is more than just presenting both sides equally. It is based on a trusting relationship between journalists and the public. We see Guy's ideas of journalism change and he begins to write more emotional stories about the plight of the impoverished Indonesian people. I felt conflicted about this because on the one hand, I felt he should have been more straightforward and less biased-sounding. However, these people were in dire poverty and a voice needs to be given to the voiceless. If they can't cry for help, who will? And thus, another ethical dilemma has crept up inside of me. This is why I could never be a hard-news reporter. I don't think I could build a made-of-stone facade when people are dying in front of me, when someone's family member has been killed, and I have to report on it. I would probably end up being an activist or taking a poor Sarajevan girl home like in "Welcome to Sarajevo." (Not saying I'm any kind of noble person. I just have this annoying sympathetic tendency.) I dearly respect the people who do report on dire situations every day. I don't know how they do it. They are amazing. And my fellow classmates who aspire to do this sort of thing... well, my hat goes off to you.

Anyway, back to the actual film.
This movie was more Hollywood-esque than the other films we viewed, but I still gleaned very valuable lessons from it. It wasn't my favorite (I can never decide if I like Mel Gibson), but it is definitely a great movie for fledgling journalists like ourselves to learn from.

P.S. I know, I know, I don't understand the title of this post, either...

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