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Bedtime Stories - Tales from Our Commmunity

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Santiago Rivera
Santiago Rivera

Broadcast News



Broadcast News is a 1987 American romantic comedy-drama film written, produced and directed by James L. Brooks. The film concerns a virtuoso television news producer (Holly Hunter) who has daily emotional breakdowns, a brilliant yet prickly reporter (Albert Brooks), and the latter's charismatic but far less seasoned rival (William Hurt). It also stars Robert Prosky, Lois Chiles, Joan Cusack, and Jack Nicholson.




Broadcast News



Jane Craig is a talented but intense news producer whose life revolves around her work. She is passionate about reporting, and abhors the trend towards soft news in news broadcasts. Her best friend and collaborator, Aaron Altman, is a gifted writer and reporter, but is lacking in many social skills. The two work in the Washington, D.C. bureau of a national TV network. The bureau hires Tom Grunick, a local news anchorman who started his career in sports. Tom is tall, handsome, likable, and telegenic, but lacks news experience and isn't especially bright. He constantly seeks help from Jane to assist him with his reporting, who resents his lack of qualifications, but finds herself attracted to him. Tom is also attracted to Jane, but is intimidated by her skills and intensity.


Aaron and Jane go to Nicaragua to report on the Sandinista rebels there and get caught up in a shooting battle between them and the contras but remain unscathed and bring home footage that wins the approval of their national anchorman. At an office party, news arrives of a Libyan plane having bombed a U.S. military base in Italy. The network chief decides to put on a special report on the spot, with Tom as anchor and Jane as executive producer. Aaron, who is at the party and has extensive knowledge about the subject, is devastated at Tom's selection. Jane argues that Tom lacks the skills to handle the responsibility of the report, but is overruled by the network chief. Watching from his home, Aaron calls Jane with pertinent information, which she feeds to Tom through his earpiece. With the combination of Tom's on-camera poise and Jane's hard news skills, the report is a great success. Their teamwork also intensifies their mutual attraction. When Jane returns for drinks with colleagues later in the evening, she meets Tom as he is leaving with co-worker Jennifer. Jane later selects Jennifer for an extended assignment in Alaska so that Tom and Jennifer will not be able to pursue a relationship with each other.


Wanting to complete a story without outside assistance, Tom creates a piece on date rape; the piece includes an extended interview with a rape victim, where Tom is shown tearing up in reaction to her story. Aaron and Jane are unimpressed with the story, but Jane finds it affecting nonetheless. In the face of potential layoffs, Aaron receives an opportunity to anchor the weekend news due to most of his colleagues going to the White House Correspondents' Dinner. He seeks advice from Tom, who encourages Aaron to be more salesman-like in his approach. Aaron writes high-quality copy and takes Tom's advice, but during the broadcast begins sweating uncontrollably, resulting in a disastrous broadcast. Meanwhile, Jane and Tom begin to progress romantically at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. But before things get more involved, Jane leaves to console Aaron. The two have a heated argument, where Aaron tells Jane that Tom represents everything Jane hates about the direction of news media. Aaron also tells Jane that he is in love with her.


The character of Jane Craig was based on journalist and news producer Susan Zirinsky. She served as associate producer and technical advisor for the film.[5] The female lead was originally written for Debra Winger, who worked with James L. Brooks in Terms of Endearment. However, Winger became pregnant and was replaced by Holly Hunter just two days before filming began. Sigourney Weaver, Dianne Wiest, Jessica Lange, Elizabeth Perkins, and Mary Beth Hurt were also considered for the role.[6] Brooks originally wrote the role of Aaron Altman specifically for his longtime friend Albert Brooks in mind. Principal photography began in Washington, D.C. in February 2, 1986, officially wrapping in April 1987 after filming several scenes in Florida.[7]


Film critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film four out of four stars and praised the film for being as "knowledgeable about the TV news-gathering process as any movie ever made, but it also has insights into the more personal matter of how people use high-pressure jobs as a way of avoiding time alone with themselves".[10] In his review for The New York Times, Vincent Canby wrote, "As the fast-talking Aaron, Albert Brooks comes very close to stealing Broadcast News. Mr. Brooks ... is more or less the conscience of Broadcast News".[11] Jonathan Rosenbaum, in his review for the Chicago Reader, praised Holly Hunter's performance as "something of a revelation: her short, feisty, socially gauche, aggressive-compulsive character may be the most intricately layered portrait of a career woman that contemporary Hollywood has given us".[12]


"Broadcast News" is as knowledgeable about the TV news-gathering process as any movie ever made, but it also has insights into the more personal matter of how people use high-pressure jobs as a way of avoiding time alone with themselves. The movie, opening today at the Fine Arts, is described as being about a romantic triangle, but that's only partly true. It is about three people who toy with the idea of love, but are obsessed by the idea of making television.


Deadline pressure attracts people like that. The newspapers are filled with them, as are ad agencies, brokerages, emergency rooms, show business, sales departments and police and fire stations. There's a certain adrenalin charge in delivering on a commitment at the last moment, in rushing out to be an instant hero or an instant failure. There's a kind of person who calls you up to shout into the phone, "I can't talk to you now - I'm busy!" This kind of person is always busy, because the lifestyle involves arranging things so you're always behind. Given plenty of time to complete a job, you wait until the last moment to start - guaranteeing a deadline rush.


I know all about that kind of obsession. (You don't think I'm turning this review in early, do you?) "Broadcast News" understands it from the inside out, and perhaps the most interesting sequence in the whole movie is a scene where a network news producer sweats it out with a videotape editor to finish a report that is scheduled to appear on the evening news in 52 seconds. In an atmosphere like that, theoretical questions get lost. The operational reality, day after day, is to get the job done and beat the deadline and make things look as good as possible. Positive feedback goes to people who deliver. Yesterday's job is forgotten. What have you got for me today?


Right at the center of "Broadcast News" is a character named Jane Craig (Holly Hunter), who is a news writer-producer for the Washington bureau of a TV network. She is smart and fast, and she cherishes certain beliefs about TV news - one of them being that a story should be covered by the person best-qualified to cover it.


Much of the plot of "Broadcast News" centers around a piece that Hurt reports about "date rape." Listening to one woman's story, he is so moved that a tear trickles down his cheek. It means a great deal to Hunter whether that tear is real or faked. Experienced TV people will question why Hunter, a veteran producer, didn't immediately notice the detail that bothers her so much later on. But in a way, "Broadcast News" is not about details, but about the larger question of whether TV news is becoming show business.


Most news analysts, reporters, and journalists work for newspaper, website, or magazine publishers or in television or radio broadcasting. Others are self-employed. Most work full time, and their schedules vary.


Despite declining employment, about 4,900 openings for news analysts, reporters, and journalists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.


News analysts, reporters, and journalists keep the public updated about current events and noteworthy information. They report international, national, and local news for newspapers, magazines, websites, television, and radio.


Those who work in television and radio set up and conduct interviews, which can be broadcast live or recorded for future broadcasts. These workers often edit interviews and other recordings to create a cohesive story or report, and they write and record voiceovers to provide the audience with supplementary facts or context. They may create multiple versions of the same story or report for different broadcasts or media platforms.


Outlets are increasingly relying on multimedia journalists to publish content on a variety of platforms, such as a video content on the website of a daily newspaper. Multimedia journalists typically record, report, write, and edit their own stories or articles. They also gather the audio, video, or graphics that accompany their content.


News analysts, reporters, and journalists may need to maintain a social media presence. Many use social media to cover live events, provide additional information for readers and viewers, promote their stations and newscasts, and engage with their audiences.


Some workers, particularly those in large cities or large news organizations, cover a particular topic, such as sports, medicine, or politics. Those who work in small cities, towns, or organizations may be generalists and cover a wide range of subjects.


Some news analysts, reporters, and journalists are self-employed and accept freelance assignments from news organizations. Because freelancers are paid for individual stories or articles, they may work with many organizations and spend some of their time marketing their content and looking for their next assignment. Self-employed news analysts, reporters, and journalists also may publish news and videos on their own platforms. 041b061a72


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