14 movies, documentaries and TV shows for the journalist in your life

by IJNet
Dec 8, 2023 in Miscellaneous
A bunch of VHS  movie covers.

With the holiday season in full swing, many of us may be sending out “let’s circle back at the top of the year” messages and preparing to enjoy a much needed break. 

While some of us may be planning to travel the world this month, others will simply be catching up on rest and relaxation on their vacations. What better time to tune into all the journalism-related movies and TV shows you’ve missed or never took the time to watch? 

In 2020, we published a round-up of movies, documentaries and TV shows, which included many of the classics. In an effort to help you spend hours sitting in front of your TV (guilt-free) this December, we asked our readers and colleagues to send us new recommendations for an updated list. 

Here’s what they suggested:


(1) She Said

This 2022 film follows New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey in their reporting that exposed sexual abuse allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein and served as a catalyst for the #MeToo movement.

Available on Amazon Prime.*

(2) Nightcrawler

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, this movie follows con artist Louis Bloom who goes to extreme lengths as a cameraman to document crimes and help news director Nina Romina improve her station’s ratings.

Available on Max.

(3) City of God

Based on Paulo Lins’ semi-autobiographical novel “City of God,” this film focuses on best friends Rocket, an up-and-coming photographer who captures the impact of drugs in his community and José "Zé" Pequeno, a drug dealer, who uses his friend’s talents to his advantage.

Available in Portuguese with English subtitles on Amazon Prime.

(4) The Year of Living Dangerously

Australian reporter Guy Hamilton lands in Indonesia in the middle of political turmoil. He befriends photographer Billy Kwan, who connects him with a British diplomat named Jill Bryant. With Bryant’s help, Hamilton is able to establish himself as a successful reporter with the inside scoop – but at a cost.

Available for free on YouTube.

(5) Broadcast News

This Oscar-nominated romantic comedy follows a love triangle between a high-strung news producer, her best friend, who’s secretly in love with her, and a rival anchorman. The film stars William Hurt, Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter. 

Available on Starz.

(6) Brown Sugar

This 2002 film follows a music journalist who falls in love with her best friend, a music executive who recently got engaged, and their shared passion and appreciation for hip-hop. The cast includes Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs, Queen Latifah and many other familiar faces.

Available on Starz.


(7) Collective

Investigating the Romanian national healthcare system, a team of reporters uncover fraud and follow its consequences for burn victims of the 2015 Colectiv nightclub fire in Bucharest. This 2020 docu-thriller received two Oscar nominations.

Available in Romanian with English subtitles on Hulu.

(8) The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee

Through a collection of excerpts from the memoir “A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures,” family interviews and home photos and videos, this documentary tells the story of Ben Bradlee, a celebrated Washington Post editor, who fought to get the Pentagon Papers published.

Available on Max.

(9) Tickled

In this bizarre documentary, David Farrier, a New Zealand journalist, discovers endurance tickling competitions, in which men are paid to be tied up and tickled. As he uncovers the dark secrets of this unique world, he’s met with many obstacles.

Available for free on the Roku Channel.

(10) Page One: Inside the New York Times

Following three New York Times writers, this Andrew Rossi documentary explores the difficulties that accompany trying to adapt to a fast-changing media landscape in 2011, including the internet’s impact on print media.

Available for free on Tubi.

(11) A Life Too Short: The Isabella Nardoni Case 

After five-year-old Isabella de Oliviera Nardini fell from the sixth floor of her father and stepmother’s apartment in São Paulo, Brazil, her mother embarks on a journey to get justice and ends up in the spotlight. You can read the IJNet article about it, too.

Available on Netflix. 

(12) Before the Flood

Exploring the effects of climate change, this documentary follows actor Leonardo DiCaprio as he meets with experts to better understand the ways the environment is changing globally, and to come up with solutions.

Available on Disney+

TV Shows

(13) Inventing Anna

Based on the story of con artist Anna Sorokin, this series follows reporter Vivian Kent in her efforts to investigate Anna Delvey, a German Instagram influencer, who conned some of New York’s elites. This Shonda Rhimes original features Julia Garner, Anna Chlumsky and Laverne Cox. 

Available on Netflix

(14) Tokyo Vice

Loosely based on Jake Adelstein’s “Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan,” this crime drama stars Ansel Elgort, who plays an American journalist working for a publication in Tokyo and attempting to expose crime. The second season is expected to premiere in February. 

Available on Max.

*Streaming details are specific to the U.S.

Photo by Tyson Moultrie on Unsplash.