- Navneel Maji
Steven Speilberg’s latest drama “The Post” deals with one the crucial values at the heart of the journalism – freedom of speech. The entire integrity of journalism rests on it. In the movie, the Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham – played her by famed actor Meryl Streep – had to be in a position to decide whether to publish a story that would bring out the reality behind the ‘Pentagon Papers’ against strong opposition from the Nixon administration.
The event followed after classified information was leaked to the New York Times; this made the Nixon White House so enraged that they secured a temporary court order barring the Times from publishing any further of the details from the documents. Following the lead, the Post got hold of the papers and planned to publish it.
Given their lead is the same as the Times, the possibility held the staff from The Washington Post could be sentenced to jail. It is in this moment – against unwillingness of other board members – Katherine decides to go along with the publishing of the papers. That was the most overwhelming moment of the story.
(L-Tom Hanks & R – Meryl Streep)
Marry Streep is known for lady-acting and brings a freshness and innocence to the screen. This was backed up by a phenomenal performance by Tom Hanks (as the Executive Editor). The movie made the audience living the entire publishing experience of how journalists perform their jobs, be it inside the office or doing secret-investigation-type jobs outside.
The Speilberg’s movie has rightfully positioned in the Oscars nominations for 2018. We should also recognize the bigger picture in considering the importance of the film in this time and age, where most of the media, if not all, is run under the command of politicians or bigger corporations. It is a reminder to the people, en professional or otherwise, and the importance of the authentic press in the democracy.