8 movies that give you a peek inside media culture, on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar

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The valiant, sensational and glamorous sides of journalism have always attracted filmmakers over the years. They have sniffed out intriguing stories just like a seasoned reporter and presented them in the most cinematic ways. While a few plots address the rivalry between different networks, fake news and more, others offer a peek inside softer journalism such as the fashion magazine business. To get in on the antics and minutia of the profession, stream one of these highly entertaining films of all time.

Network (1976)

Network (1976)Directed by Sidney LumetShown on right: Faye Dunaway

© MGM/Photofest

The satirical drama centres around the struggles of UBS Evening News, a fictional TV network in New York. Longtime anchor Howard Beale is asked to resign in two weeks due to poor ratings and low viewership of the channel. Grieving the state of the industry, he gets drunk with the news division president; and next day, during his live morning show, announces that he will be committing suicide on air next Tuesday. When his continuous rants and antics cause the ratings to shoot up, he is taken advantage of by the higher-ups. The film won four Academy Awards in the following year.

Available to buy on Amazon Prime Video

Rann (2010)

Jai (Sudeep Sanjeev) ties up with a corrupt politician to falsely accuse the PM of carrying out a terrorist attack. The purpose behind his move is to air the same on his father Vijay Harshwardhan Malik's (Amitabh Bachchan) struggling television channel to attract a huge audience. After the plan is successful, a reporter at Malik's channel, Purab (Riteish Deshmukh), uncovers the truth and reveals Jay's plot to Malik. The development gives way to an interesting turn of events and life-changing decisions.

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar

Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

The George Clooney directorial is a historical drama that addresses the theme of responsible media culture as well as what the industry's dissent from government policies means for it. Set during the early days of TV broadcast journalism, it revolves around veteran radio and television journalist Edward R Murrow and his conflicts with US Senator Joseph McCarthy's actions and ideologies.

Streaming on Netflix

Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000)

Starring Juhi Chawla and Shah Rukh Khan as two TV reporters for rival news channels, the Bollywood comedy drama touches upon some harsh realities of life. While Ajay Bakshi (Khan) and Ria Banerji (Chawla) are always one-upping each other, they come together to seek justice for a girl who has been raped by a politician.

Streaming on Netflix

Spotlight (2015)

The Boston Globe's Spotlight team is the oldest newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States. The Academy Award-winning biographical film follows its investigations into child sex abuse by the area's priests. Editor Marty Baron's team of reporters interview victims and work hard to lift the lid on the widespread scandal.

Available to buy on Amazon Prime Video

Page 3 (2005)

Page 3 highlights the media and celebrity culture in Mumbai, with a detailed narrative shown from a journalist's perspective. When Madhavi Sharma (Konkona Sen Sharma) arrives in the city to become a reporter, she gets assigned the Bollywood beat in a newspaper. Her experiences from there on are far from what she had expected. On raising concern, she is transferred to the crime reporting department where she finally realises the hidden, unglamorous side of being in the industry.

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Shattered Glass (2003)

The biographical drama puts a spotlight on journalist Stephen Glass and his '90s scandal at The New Republic. His colourful, but fabricated, story about a teenage hacker is exposed when no corroborative evidence is found by the Forbes Digital Tool reporter. After not being able to provide any reliable sources, he is fired. Soon, the authorities discover that the journalist had been publishing fictitious stories for a while, under the watch of his superiors who failed to fact-check his brilliant findings. The docudrama is a clear peek inside fake news culture and yellow journalism.

Available to buy on Amazon Prime Video

The September Issue (2009)

The 90-minute feature takes us behind the scenes and into the operations of fashion journalism. At the heart of the story are the makings of Vogue's September 2007 issue, depicting editor-in-head Anna Wintour and her staff's effort that goes into bringing it to the stands. The hard work, brainstorming as well as glamour, which are all part of the production, are well portrayed in this documentary.

Available to buy on Amazon Prime Video

Also read:

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