- Some of the greatest movies and TV shows related to the world of media are available on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, or via the online platforms of networks like HBO and NBC.
- “The Post” follows The Washington Post’s staff as they venture to publish the infamous “Pentagon Papers,” while “The Newsroom” offers an inside look at the making of an evening news program.
- From political thrillers to romantic comedies, here are some of the best movies and TV shows about the media that you can stream right now.
- Insider has many movie and TV show lists to keep you occupied. You can read them all here.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Journalism and the media have been a frequent source of inspiration for filmmakers and TV show creators. There’s something about the hustle of a newsroom or the glossy allure of a fashion magazine that makes for a captivating story.
Movies like “Spotlight” and series like “The Morning Show” have been embraced by viewers and critics alike, while earning a number of prestigious awards.
Their on-screen reporters echo real-life journalists who chase sources, deadlines, or the pure thrill of the scoop. They produce news segments, cover fashion weeks, and uncover political conspiracies; and they look cool while doing it.
From the more light-hearted to the downright serious, here are 12 of the best movies and TV shows about the media to stream right now.
Steven Spielberg’s 2017 movie “The Post” is a historical political thriller about The Washington Post’s efforts to publish the infamous “Pentagon Papers” in 1971.
One of the movies that accurately depicts newspapers’ centuries-old struggle between publishing the truth and trying to avoid being penalised for it is “The Post.”
Set in 1971, the political thriller reveals the true story of The Washington Post’s vigorous efforts to publish the infamous “Pentagon Papers” that exposed the US government’s involvement in the Vietnam War, during which it deceivingly allowed the country to keep fighting a futile fight.
Meryl Streep in the role of Katharine “Kay” Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper who’s often met with disdain by financial advisers and editors, and Tom Hanks in the role of Ben Bradlee, The Washington Post’s longtime executive editor, are the fierce journalistic duo we didn’t know we needed.
Based on Gillian Flynn’s 2006 novel of the same name, “Sharp Objects” is a psychological thriller miniseries about a troubled investigative reporter covering the murders of two young girls.
Amy Adams stars in HBO’s 2018 miniseries “Sharp Objects” as the emotionally scarred Camille Preaker, an investigative reporter who returns to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, to write a story about the consecutive murders of two young girls.
As Camille dives deep into the cases, she’s constantly reminded of her own demons that are traced back to the loss of her younger sister, as well as the problematic relationship with her mother.
Adams is splendid in the role of the mentally tortured yet devoted and talented reporter, while Patricia Clarkson delivers a chilling performance as Camille’s eerie mother, one that won her a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.
In other words, crime reporting meets family baggage in the form of eight thrilling episodes.
Released in 2010, “Morning Glory” follows a young TV producer as she desperately tries to resuscitate a failing morning show.
Directed by Roger Michell, “Morning Glory” tells the story of fledgling producer Becky Fuller (played by Rachel McAdams), who is hired as executive producer on “DayBreak,” a long-running morning TV show with such low ratings that’s on the brink of being cancelled.
The task of reviving it is no easy feat for Becky, who has to put up with unprofessional colleagues and what turns out to be an unlikely co-host duo; a rigid, scornful veteran news journalist and anchor played by a hilarious Harrison Ford and a jaded yet experienced lifestyle TV host played by the classy Diane Keaton.
Their striking inability to coexist on set and the constant bitter ― and absolutely comical ― exchanges between the two driving Becky vrazy, while making the film a fun must-see.
“Morning Glory” is available to stream on
Apple TV+’s 2019 series “The Morning Show” deals with sexual misconduct behind the scenes of a popular breakfast news program.
“The Morning Show” offers an inside look into a breakfast news program that suffers a huge blow when one of its co-anchors (played by Steve Carell) is fired due to sexual misconduct allegations.
As well-kept secrets and hidden corporate interests come to light, an entire network is threatened to come crashing down; all the while, the news is still rolling.
Τhe series feels more topical than ever in view of the #MeToo movement, digging deep into issues of power and sexual abuse at work.
Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are breathtaking in the lead roles ― Aniston won a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her portrayal of co-anchor Alex Levy ― while Billy Crudup is phenomenal as the sneaky but charming network executive Cory Ellison.
“The Morning Show” is available to stream on
Meryl Streep’s character in David Frankel’s “The Devil Wears Prada” is believed to have been inspired by US Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
When you try to think of an intimidating on-screen boss, no one from the “Horrible Bosses” movie comes to mind. Instead it’s Miranda Priestley from “The Devil Wears Prada,” played by Meryl Streep, who better fits the description.
The 2006 comedy-drama centres around Andy, a zealous young journalist played by Anne Hathaway, who lands a job as the co-assistant of Miranda Priestly, fictional Runway magazine’s powerful and extremely exigent editor who makes her life a living hell.
As Andy loses herself trying to meet Miranda’s crazy demands, the fashion industry and the world of publishing are shown in the most cruel yet humorous light possible.
US Vogue editor Anna Wintour is believed to have been the inspiration behind Priestley’s cahracter.
“The Devil Wears Prada” is available to stream on
Billy Ray’s “Shattered Glass” recounts the true events that led to reporter Stephen Glass’s disgrace when it was discovered that most of his articles were fabricated.
Based on a 1998 Vanity Fair article of the same name, the 2003 movie “Shattered Glass” tells the true story of Stephen Glass’s journalistic fraud.
Staff reporter at The New Republic and freelancer for several magazines including Rolling Stone, Stephen Glass (played by Hayden Christensen) is applauded by his colleagues every time he brings yet another genius story to the table.
When a reporter at Forbes Digital Tool notices that some of the facts in one of Glass’s articles do not check out, though, his credibility is put to the test. Soon enough, everyone discovers he has fabricated – partly or entirely – at least 27 of the 41 pieces he wrote.
Given that the movie’s riveting plot is actually true, it’s one of those “You can’t make this stuff up!” cases. Or maybe you can.
“Shattered Glass” is available to stream on
Having aired between 2006 and 2013 on NBC, “30 Rock” is a satirical sitcom about the backstage of a live sketch comedy show.
Writer and actress Tina Fey’s most acclaimed TV show has to be “30 Rock.” Based on Fey’s own experiences as head writer of “Saturday Night Live,” the sitcom is set behind the scenes of a fictional live sketch comedy show.
Fey stars as Liz Lemon, the workaholic, pragmatic, and slightly dorky head writer of “TGS with Tracy Jordan,” where literally no two days are the same. The actors’ massive egos, her arrogant boss (played by a hysterical Alex Baldwin), and utter chaos in the writers’ room are only some of the challenges she’s faced with.
“30 Rock” has won several awards over its seven-season course, including 16 Emmys. The amazing cast and Fey’s still relevant, witty writing guarantee endless hours of laughter.
On July 16, the show returned for a one-time special episode.
Academy Award winner “Spotlight” delves into the true story of The Boston Globe’s uncovering of a widespread child sex abuse scandal.
Tom McCarthy’s 2015 movie “Spotlight” tells the true story of how The Boston Globe uncovered a massive scandal of child molestation by Roman Catholic priests in the Boston area ― which ultimately earned the paper the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
An ode to investigative journalism, the film follows the “Spotlight” team, the Globe’s old, understaffed, but highly efficient investigative journalist unit, as they work strenuously to unveil the church’s widespread child sex abuse practices.
Their work only gets harder by the countless silenced victims of about 90 alleged pedophile priests and the lawyers involved in the cover-up.
The film’s gripping plot and brilliant cast, including Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Rachel McAdams, granted “Spotlight” the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay in 2016.
“The Newsroom” presents the inner workings of an evening news program that adopts a new risky and rarely-tried-before strategy.
HBO’s 2012-2014 series “The Newsroom” follows the daily lives of the team behind “News Night,” an evening TV news program, broadcast on the fictional channel ACN.
The show undergoes a drastic transformation when its executive producer MacKenzie McHale ― the ex-girlfriend of anchor Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels), portrayed by Emily Mortimer, is hired to revamp it, by prioritising the news that matters over ratings or the network’s alliances with advertisers.
The series gives viewers a pretty good idea of what goes into making a live news show, especially one that puts facts above everything else.
It could be argued that it’s an idealised version of a real-life news program (which would aim for some balance between hard news and sponsor-friendly content), but it is still fascinating and exhilarating to watch.
Based on the 2003 drama series of the same name, Kevin Macdonald’s 2009 movie “State of Play” follows a newspaper team investigating a federal employee’s mysterious death.
Political thriller “State of Play” focuses on the fictional Washington Globe’s journalist Cal McAffrey (played by Russell Crowe), as he tries to get to the bottom of a suspicious death involving his friend and congressman Stephen Collins (played by Ben Affleck).
When Collins’ mistress and member of his staff Sonia Baker dies at the subway train tracks, everyone assumes she has committed suicide. But things get darker when it emerges that PointCorp, a company the government has been investigating ― the investigation led by Baker herself ― appears to be linked to her death.
The movie succeeds in keeping viewers on their toes. The cast includes Rachel McAdams as the inexperienced but driven reporter who works with McAffrey on the story, as well as the incredible Helen Mirren in the role of the paper’s assertive editor.
“State of Play” is available to stream on
NBC’s 2017-2018 sitcom “Great News” is about a budding producer at a cable news show who suddenly finds herself working alongside her mother.
“Great News” is set behind the scenes of fictional cable news show “The Breakdown.” When Carol, the overinvolved mother of ambitious producer Katie joins the team as an intern, things get complicated.
Somewhere between trying to prove her worth to her boss and dealing with the show’s “primadonna” co-hosts (vivaciously brought to life by John Michael Higgins and Nicole Richie), Katie will have to find a way to get along with her mum.
Andrea Martin in the role of Carol and Briga Heelan in the role of Katie are fantastic as mother and daughter, while the chemistry between Martin and Higgins leads to some incredibly funny scenes.
Despite its excellent writing and critical success, the series got cancelled after season two.
Gary Winick’s 2004 “13 Going on 30” movie follows a 13-year-old girl who magically flash-forwards 17 years and finds herself living the editor life.
Taking us back to a time when romantic comedies were all the rage, “13 Going on 30” follows the life of Jenna (played by Jennifer Garner), a 13-year-old girl who dreams of being popular. After her birthday party goes awry, she’s humiliated and wishes to be 30.
Like in any self-respecting rom-com, a little magic goes a long way, so thanks to some “magic wishing dust,” Jenna is granted her wish; she wakes up and is 30 years old, with no memory of the past 17 years, and is working as the editor of her favourite fashion magazine, Poise.
Apart from Jenna’s love story with Matty (played by Mark Ruffalo) and her enviably positive and inevitably innocent outlook on life, we take a peek into the amusing ins and outs of a fashion magazine, equal parts glamorous and competitive.
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