What does Spotlight’s Oscar win mean for today’s journalism?


After Sunday’s Oscar success with Spotlight awarded Best Picture, new light is shed on a profession that has been going through rough times for a while now: journalism.

This morning, while reading The New York Times, I stumbled upon an extremely interesting piece by Timothy Pratt discussing exactly how Spotlight’s victory couldn’t have come in a better moment.

The Oscar for Best Picture is seen as a “much-welcomed boost” for investigative journalism and overall journalism actually. For quite some time now, newspaper publications have suffered increasingly lower subscription rates, as the new generations choose to read information available for free online instead of buying print editions (not to mention subscribing to one).

As Pratt notes, following the victory on Sunday, social media have awoken and shown overwhelming support towards the often-underestimated industry and specifically investigative journalism. Riding this wave of publicity, several exhorted to subscribe “to the print edition of your local newspaper.” Also, Pratt reports that non profit organizations, such as the New York based ProPublica, have started raising funds in order to help the suffering industry.

Perhaps the brightest side of this sudden exposure is the increase of young people now interested in a career in journalism. Interest is obviously appreciated but if several publications had to cut down on staff because of the crisis, will there now be room for new journalists to begin their career? The answer to this question, just as reflected by the article, is not straightforward as it could have been maybe just a few years ago.

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