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Nightcrawler - a chilling depiction of "unethical journalism"

The 2014 movie “Nightcrawler” (starring Jake Gyllenhaal) which can also be called a “media satire” highlights the dark reality that infiltrates the news media. The protagonist Lou Bloom secures his position in the world of L.A. crime journalism which reveals to us (the audience) the extreme lengths to which news channels can go to increase their ratings. Richard Corliss sums it up aptly when writing for Time, “The TV news maxim “If it bleeds, it leads” isn’t a declaration of journalistic principles; it’s a simple economic assessment of the viewers’ taste for sensation, which brings the stations big money and high ratings.” In another scene in the movie, Nina Romina (played by Rene Russo) - the news director at Channel 6 to which Bloom sells the graphic footage he captures - says to him, “Think of our news as a screaming woman running down the street with her throat cut.” These dialogues from the movie are not just very disturbing but also unveil the sinister workings of the media system. This, in turn, generates in audiences the increasing desire to consume content that is a product of unethical journalism.

Reference used:

Corliss, R. (2014, October 31). Nightcrawler movie review: Jake Gyllenhaal's noir thriller. Time. Retrieved December 3, 2021, from

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