When I was in eighth grade, I became editor-in-chief of my school’s newspaper. I fell in love with the job I was doing and knew that one day I wanted to become a journalist. My mom raised me to be an independent woman that could do anything that she puts her mind to. So, I created a goal and told myself that one day I will be a successful female journalist where people know my name, and no one could stop me. Now here I am today, a senior in college about to graduate with her degree in journalism, and I am super excited. However, I am learning more and more about how female journalists are portrayed in movies and television shows, and I am sick of it.
Hollywood’s representation of female journalists has never been close to reality. For example, in the movie “Thank You for Smoking,” Heather Holloway is a female reporter who is writing a story over Nick Naylor, a spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies. Instead of her setting up an interview with him and finding out about his life, she has a sexual relationship with him to find out the little details for her story. You see this scenario happen in other movies and television shows such as “Sharp Objects” and “Gilmore Girls.” But in reality, female reporters go out and get their sources, set up a time and date for an interview and write the story. There is no sex involved. So, why does Hollywood very often depict female journalists as a person who needs to sleep with their source to write a good story?
I am sure there are real life cases about a female journalist sleeping with a source, but it does not happen as much as Hollywood depicts it. Also, why is it only women? When I googled “movies about female journalists sleeping with sources” a whole article with a list of movies popped up and other articles about female journalists being accused of sleeping with their sources showed up too. However, when I googled “movies about male journalists sleeping with their sources”' nothing popped up. In fact, I was just given more articles about male journalists accusing female journalists of sleeping with their sources and more movies about this circumstance.
I am working very hard to land my dream job, and I know other female reporters are doing the same thing. There are so many successful female journalists, for example Frances FitzGerald, who won a Pulitzer prize over an influential critique on war. We do not want to be labeled as someone who “sleeps for sources.” We are so much more than that. We are hard-working women who love to write and tell the news. We want to be labeled as women who are successful writers that will one day win our own Pulitzer prize. We do not want movies that give us a negative connotation. So, Hollywood, fact check yourself and start making movies that are actually true about female journalists.