Adviser Update Summer 2016 - Page 13

13 Spotlight: Using films to teach journalism By Michael Hernandez HOW TO USE THE ACADEMY AWARD WINNER FOR BEST PICTURE IN YOUR CLASSROOM THIS FALL S potlight snagged the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2016, most likely because of its context in the current decline of newspapers rather than its filmmaking prowess. However, journalism teachers immediately became excited to have another film to add to their teaching library; one that is new, has fresh faces, and allows for discussions of ethics, politics, history courage and personal limits. The film recounts the process of the Boston Globe’s investigative team, “Spotlight,” as they uncover the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal in the early 2000s. Like most films used to teach about an historical event, some of the events are dramatized for narrative effect. Rather than get bogged down on stylistic details of how the movie was made or what it left out for dramatic purposes, we can use films to ignite discussion and make students question their own perceptions. I plan to screen “Spotlight” in my first week of