Going on its third season, the University of Arizona School of Journalism's film series at The Loft Cinema in Tucson continues to generate community conversations about the importance of journalism and the challenges it faces.
The series, "Journalism on Screen" — which features Q&A sessions with reporters, editors and authors — returns on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m. with a screening of "Shattered Glass." The 2003 film chronicles the career of journalist Stephen Glass (played by Hayden Christensen), a young reporter who rises quickly from a minor writing position in Washington to the job of feature writer at the New Republic, where his sources are questioned.
Afterward, Jill Jorden Spitz, a 1989 UA journalism graduate who is the editor of the Arizona Daily Star, will talk about journalism ethics and sourcing with moderator Susan Knight, a UA journalism professor of practice, and take questions from the audience.
"I've been really pleased with the program," said William Schmidt, a UA journalism professor of practice who organized the series with Nancy Sharkey, another professor of practice and director of the school's undergraduate studies.
"The whole media landscape has fractured, with questions of what is news, what is news you can rely on, what are facts," Schmidt said. "By using films, which speak to everybody, we've been able to talk about these themes."
Schmidt and Sharkey arrange for some speakers to talk to students on campus. They work closely on the series lineup with Jeff Yanc of The Loft, which just remodeled its main theater. In 2016, "Citizenfour," with the Intercept's Glenn Greenwald, and "Spotlight," featuring UA journalism alumnus and former Boston Globe publisher Richard Gilman, drew big crowds.
"We've gotten a real variety of voices," Schmidt said. "We've had people talk about Vietnam, the political process, how journalists deal with wildfires and natural disasters, and the connection between the civil rights movement and journalism."
After "Shattered Glass," the series will continue at 4 p.m. on Oct. 8 with "Bill Cunningham New York." Guy Trebay, a critic for The New York Times, will analyze the 2010 documentary about Cunningham, a late Times fashion photographer. Trebay profiled Tucson as an "unsung architectural oasis" in a 2015 Times story. Will Conroy, a screenwriter whose family runs the Arizona Inn, will be the moderator.
"Obit," at 2 p.m. on Dec. 3, will feature New York Times obituary writer Bruce Weber, who will give insight into the 2016 documentary, which interviews Times writers as they research and compose obits such as one for President John F. Kennedy's speech writer.
The series will continue in the spring, with tentative films "Secretariat" (Feb. 18) and "Good Night and Good Luck" (March 25), featuring Q&As with New York Times sportswriter Joe Drape and UA alumna/author Lynne Olson, respectively.
Other sponsors of the "Journalism on Screen" series are the UA College of Social and Behaviorial Sciences, the Arizona Daily Star, the Arizona Daily Wildcat/UA-TV3, The New York Times and the Arizona Inn.