Just one Guy’s Opinion: HBO’s “The Newsroom” NOT offensive to journalists

By Patrick Cannon

You know what makes me upset?  The fact that some journalists hate HBO’s “The Newsroom”, and refuse to watch it, and write negative things about it. They say the show is preachy, that it takes a story that happened a long time ago, and uses its characters to tell them how it should have been done. As a journalist myself, I think this is over blown. It is a TV show written by a man who admits he knows next to nothing about journalism. Aaron Sorkin has said time and time again, that he is not trying to tell journalists how to do their jobs, and you know what, I believe him. Some journalists need to lighten up. (see TheWrap’s sampling of tweets after Season Two premiere Journalists (Still) Hate “Newsroom”) The fact of the matter is journalists make mistakes in big story coverage, and the show sometimes highlights this issue. For example, after a 2011 shooting incident, NPR reported that Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was dead. (see NPR’s Giffords Mistake) She wasn’t. This is a big mistake, one in which journalists try not to make.

Aaron Sorkin is trying to tell a story. If it offends journalists and they think that they are being attacked or ridiculed, then they don’t need to watch the show, but to attack it based on the fact that your feelings are hurt. Come on. It is time to grow up. Now, there are some real complaints about the show. (see @jeffjarvis in The Guardian Homage to everything that wrong with TV News) For instance, people think that there is too much romance involved and that the women in the show are written to be stupid, and naïve characters. This may well be true. If you are going to trash the show, then you should have better reasons than hurt my feelings.

I for one, think this show is great. I love it because it takes something that I love and allows other people the chance to see how difficult journalism can really be. It shows the passion that journalists must have to get the story, and to get it right. I know that the show is not perfect, but it is entertaining, (The Atlantic: Newsroom Getting Faker) and that is what the show is on TV for.

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