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Film series at the KiMo to focus on journalism movies

Tom Hanks portrays Ben Bradlee, left, and Meryl Streep portrays Katharine Graham in a scene from “The Post.” The film will screen at the KiMo Theatre on Sunday, May 20. (Niko Tavernise/20th Century Fox)

Informing people is one of the basics in journalism.

This is the impetus behind the New Mexico Humanities Council’s upcoming series, “Fake News … Journalism Goes to Hollywood.”

“I’m hoping that it can be fun and get people talking about journalism today,” said Michelle Quisenberry, senior program officer. “We thought an event would hit a broader audience.”

The series is simple — screen a film dealing with journalism and host a Q&A session after.

It’s free and open to the public.

The series kicks off with the Academy Award nominated- political thriller “The Post” at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 20 at the KiMo Theatre, 423 Central NW.

The film tells the story of how journalists at The Washington Post fought to publish the Pentagon Papers and the secret history of America’s 30-year involvement in the Vietnam War.

It stars Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham, the first woman to head a major American newspaper, and Tom Hanks as hard-driving editor Ben Bradlee.

It explores an unprecedented battle between the press and the U.S. government, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ruled 6-3 in the newspaper’s favor.

Following the film, Devin D. O’Leary will moderate a discussion on the movie’s themes and on the importance of journalism in today’s society.

Panelists include Scott Armstrong, investigative journalist and executive director for the Information Trust and former reporter with the Post, and Megan Kamerick, board member of the Society of Professional Journalists — Rio Grande Chapter, the Journalism & Women Symposium and host of KUNM’s “Morning Edition.” The panel discussion will be followed by questions from the audience.

Quisenberry says the series, which will run monthly through November, invites community conversations about the importance of journalism in our democratic society and its many challenges today — as seen through the lens of Hollywood and popular culture.

“We worked together to talk about different types of journalism,” she said. “We’re trying to coordinate panel discussions about the changing nature of journalism and the changing nature of print news. Newspapers play an important role in communities, especially smaller ones. We want to have those discussions and get people talking and knowing the facts on issues that affect us all. The goal is to help answer the question of how to be an informed citizen.”

The schedule for the series is as follows:
2 p.m. June 24 — “Ace in the Hole,” Billy Wilder’s cynical 1950 film starring Kirk Douglas as an unscrupulous reporter stranded in New Mexico who is willing to go to any length to get back to “the big time.”
2 p.m. July 15 — “Almost Famous,” Director Cameron Crowe’s Oscar-winning 2000 biopic about a 15-year-old boy’s odyssey into the wild and woolly world of rock ’n’ roll as a reporter for Rolling Stone.
2 p.m. Aug. 19 — “Spotlight,” the Academy Award Best Picture winner about a team of investigative reporters from The Boston Globe, who exposed a decades-long cover up of sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests and the ensuing shake-up of Boston’s religious, legal and government establishment.
2 p.m. Sept. 23 — “Salvador,” Oliver Stone’s 1986 tale based on the real-life adventures of unconventional journalist Richard Boyle, who finds himself caught up in the vicious political strife in the Central American nation of El Salvador in the early ’80s.
2 p.m. Oct. 21 — “Shattered Glass,” the true story of reporter Stephen Glass and how his series of colorful, amusing feature stories for The New Republic turned out to be fake. A glimpse at one of journalism’s more famous scandals.
2 p.m. Nov. 18 — “All the President’s Men,” Director Alan Pakula’s thriller starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as legendary reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein who doggedly exposed the attempted coverup of the “third-rate burglary” at Washington’s Watergate apartments that turned into a national crisis and led to the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon.