On February 8 more than 170 people attended a special screening and discussion of The Post hosted by the Ferris Seminars in Journalism.
Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, the Oscar-nominated film is a drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post’s Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. presidents.
After the screening Ferris Professors of Journalism Joe Stephens, veteran investigative reporter for The Washington Post, and Jim Dwyer, longtime columnist for The New York Times, were joined by Paul Starr, Stuart Professor of Communications and Public Affairs and Professor of Sociology, to reflect on the film and answer questions for the sold-out crowd. Audience members asked about the ethical concerns faced by journalists when revealing scandalous information, and the state of reporting in the 1970s versus today. The panelists discussed the dramatic changes undergone by the media for the last 25 years, how news organizations have responded thus far, and – speaking especially to the students in the auditorium – how the future of journalism is being determined right now.