Journalism Influences the Film Industry

When thinking of a degree in journalism, many people often assume it means a career as a journalist or reporter but few consider thinking beyond. When in fact, a degree in journalism could signify many opportunities in an abundance of fields. Take for instance the role of movie critics. Their role seems to be far from Communications when in fact many possess a journalism background, which is why some refer to them as film journalist. In order to properly and successfully critique a film, a movie critic has to have the capability of communicating effectively both verbally and written.

Often it is how well the critique is written that will determine whether a film is worth watching. According to Chassity Beals on her article, “The Importance of Entertainment Journalism”, a good film review should provide the following: a brief synopsis of the movie and insight into what inspired the film, how it was made, what makes it interesting visually, how the story was affected by the cinematography, and lastly, a recommendation to watch the film or to avoid it.” This format is general to the one film critics follow when delivering a critique. Beals adds why a critique is significant for audiences, “This is evidence of an educated opinion as it reaches beyond merely saying ‘this movie was great!’ or ‘this movie was horrible.”Again, a good written critique can influence an audience and box office scores.

When remembering prominent film critics within the Entertainment industry many have journalistic backgrounds having worked in major Newspapers or media networks. Take for example Michael Phillips from the Chicago Tribune and A.O. Scott from the New York Times who each took turns co-hosted the Ebert and Roeper show, along with Ebert, Roeper, and Siskel whom were all journalist.
“Aside from the controversy of whether a critic is necessary, becoming a film critic is an incredibly difficult thing to do. Anyone can write film reviews and critique films in a blog, but in journalism there are only about 2,000 openings per year in the United States.” Beals said. “The number is far less for a film critic. While you do not have to have a degree to be a film critic, you do need to possess a wide knowledge base, understand the film industry and filmmaking process and have a passion for watching films.” I would like to add that you have to demonstrate the ability to communicate yourself effectively to facilitate making your point. It would serve no purpose if a person is knowledgeable in the film process but not effective in expressing that knowledge.

Film critics have been considered a part of the film industry and as journalist Armond White said they are an, “expected to be a partner in Hollywood’s commercial system. Critics are no longer respected as individual thinkers, only as adjuncts to advertising. We are not. And we should not be.” An interesting thought that White believes that film critics should be reviewed as people who know movies and therefore judge them. “Our knowledge is based on learning and experience.” Knowledge and experience that can perhaps be acquired through a person’s passion for films and the help from a feature writing class to help express those thoughts. Below, watch as Director Quentin Tarantino speaks about film critics and their influence in his career and work.

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4 Responses to Journalism Influences the Film Industry

  1. kaygilbert334 says:

    your article has given me a different perspective on journalism degrees. My Comm 233 professor, was teaching at the community college and this course was actually called journalism 121. He was the worst professor ever, and told all student NOT to ever get stuck with a journalism degree because it limited you in getting a job. I think your article was excellent and will give other students new ideas.

  2. marisa2430 says:

    By: Marisa A. Gutierrez

    This article as the previous student mentioned truly opened my eyes and my whole perspective on journalistic film critics. I never really thought about the severity of their work and publication until now, when you mentioned that film journalists have the ability to basically make or break a movies premiere and history in the box office. Almost everyone now days read what the critics are writing especially since the cost of box office tickets have gone up. Before, when the prices were cheap to go into the movies both for students and adults alike, I can honestly say that not everyone probably read what the critics wrote since everyone could afford to go to the movies every week. But now, with every consumer being about saving, every dollar counts. Overall, good article.

  3. sheyy says:

    Kay, I used your comment in another article I wrote. I could not believe a teacher would give you such advice! It was surprising but I am glad that I was able to provide you with different insight (same goes for Marisa). We should be able to work in an environment we really enjoy and our degree will provide the foundation to survive in it.

  4. cnaslund says:

    I agree with all of you. I never thought of using a degree in journalism to pursue a movie critic job. Maybe a critic job in food, cars, new electronics, fashion, the list could on and on.

    I like how Tarantino at the end said that he didn’t like reading online reviews instead liked the feel of a newspaper or a magazine in his hand and then everyone started clapping. I like the feel of that too, but I like instantness of online. If I get board I can stop reading that article, then switch to a different one or a different website entirely.

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