Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Waiting for The Wire

All I want for Christmas is.....the new season of 'The Wire' to start. HBO has been teasing with a half hour special preview of this last season, featuring the local newspaper in Baltimore, the 'Sun', and how the changes in journalism affect the community.

From what I've read already I'm hoping this will be the best and most relevant season of this extraordinary series. I've never bought a TV series on DVD, but this is one that I just might, starting with the first year focusing on drug dealers, the second on longshoremen, the third on politicians and the fourth on school kids. But this one: this is the story of what journalism has become in our recent lifetimes.

Variety, I hope, has it pegged: Brian Lowry writes, 'The Wire' gets the newsroom right:
In the last few months, Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell and Slate columnist Jack Schafer have each lauded "Ace in the Hole" -- Billy Wilder's 1951 classic about an unprincipled reporter ginning up his own media circus -- as the best movie about their profession. As for the tube, Associated Press' Frazier Moore recently paid tribute to "Lou Grant," the entertaining "Mary Tyler Moore" spinoff that CBS canceled a quarter-century ago.
...By contrast, Simon's newspaper is a microcosm of a media industry that often seems to have lost its moral compass, as well as a corporate culture where truth is sacrificed on the altar of neglect more than malevolence.
So in terms of the debates reporters conduct in bars, this one at least can be retired until a better example comes along, and given the historical record, please nobody hold your breath.
The best look at newspapers in movies or TV? Hands down, the prize goes to "The Wire."

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