ASU Professor Who Consulted On 'The Post' Weighs In On Movie's Message, Journalism

Published: Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 4:45pm
Updated: Friday, January 12, 2018 - 8:26am
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(Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Films)
Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep star in "The Post."

The new Steven Spielberg movie “The Post” comes out in wide release across the country Friday.

The film has drawn rave reviews for its depiction of the Washington Post’s decision to publish secret Pentagon papers unveiling covert operations by the U.S. government during the Vietnam War.

Len Downie is a professor at ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He spent 44 years at The Washington Post and was a consultant on the movie. Downie says the plotline is accurate, and the movie’s message has implications in the current political climate.

“It was extremely important to Steven Spielberg, the director, that this (movie) be authentic and he and I talked about it. This was a labor of love for them. It was very important for them to him to show journalism holding government accountable in this movie in this particular time," Downie said.

Even though journalism and the media have been under attack in the age of President Donald Trump, Downie believes his ASU students are more excited than ever about the field.

He also said increasing media literacy and helping citizens determine what is real and what is fake will be a key goal in 2018.

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