Kill the Messenger is due out next year and tells the true story of investigative journalist Gary Webb. While he was working at the San Jose Mercury News, Webb discovered proof of the CIA’s involvement in distributing cocaine in Los Angeles. This linked the CIA to a scheme that was funding Contra rebels in Nicaragua with drug money. After his three-part exposé, ‘Dark Alliance’ was published in 1996, the journalist was subjected to a long and vicious smear campaign which culminated in Webb’s suicide in 2004.
The film boasts an all-star cast including Jeremy Renner, Michael Sheen, Andy Garcia and Ray Liotta and promises to be as taut and thrilling as the true story.
Journalists have often featured in the movies. Here’s a selection of some of the best films that highlighted the press.
Contagion is a thriller that charts the spread of an epidemic and takes us through the work of medics and public health officials as they attempt to identify the disease and halt its spread, shows the impact on daily life of a serious pandemic and finally shows how a vaccine was developed to treat the disease, which was a mutation of bat and pig viruses.
The film features a host of big names, including Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence FIshburne and Kate Winslet. Jude Law features as Alan Krumwiede, a maverick journalist who believes in conspiracy theories. Krumwiede raises a number of valid concerns, such as the long term impact of untested vaccines and whether the government is really telling the whole truth, but his methods of asking pressing questions only further fuel an already panicking populace faced with a deadly disease.
The film was enjoyed by critics but also received praise from scientists, who were impressed by its attention to scientific detail.