Celebrating World Press Day in movies

(Photos: The Royal Film Commission)
To mark World Press Freedom Day, three documentary films will be screened at the Rainbow Theater, starting Tuesday, highlighting the work of journalists around the world.اضافة اعلان

Besides reflecting the state of journalism around the world, and the challenges faced by journalists, the films also show the social media effect on newsrooms and news making.

This event is organized by The Royal Film Commission (RFC) in cooperation with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Screenings will start at 7pm, from Tuesday till Thursday.

This year’s World Press Freedom Day, themed “Journalism under digital siege”, is expected to reflect a variety of ways through which surveillance and digital attacks on journalists endangers their profession how they affect the public trust in digital communication, and how the digital era impacts freedom of expression.

May 3 was designated by the UN General Assembly, in 1993, as World Press Freedom Day.

Following are the movies to be screened on the occasion:

Writing with Fire, by Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas

In a male dominated system, Khabar Lahariya remains a unique source of information for Indians. Smartphones in hand, chief journalist Meera and her team of determined women confront the traditions of mainstream media, tackling India’s hottest news stories while reshaping their own identity as Dalit women (outcasts).

Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, winners of two awards at the last edition of the Sundance Film Festival, give us a necessary and absolutely inspiring portrait of women who claim power one report at a time.

At the center of Writing with Fire is Meera, Khabar Lahariya’s chief reporter, who not only tracks and reports stories, but also oversees the paper’s digital hub and mentors junior journalists (many of whom have no experience in journalism).
Besides reflecting the state of journalism around the world, and the challenges faced by journalists, the films also show the social media effect on newsrooms and news making.
Meera married when she was 14, but her in-laws allowed her to continue her education. She now has her master’s degree and is a working mother, with a husband who always seems to think that Khabar Lahariya will fail.

It is pretty quiet, but it is a shame that his wife works all night. Two other female newspaper staff, Suneeta and Shyamkali, also appear in the Writing with Fire story.

Checks and Balances, by Malek Bensmaïl.

After twenty years of existence and fighting for the independent Algerian press, Malek Bensmaïl sets up his camera in the editorial staff of the famous daily El–Watan, a necessary counterweight to a faltering democracy, at a time when Bouteflika is preparing to run for a fourth term.

The movie is a meeting with those who make the newspaper, their doubts, their contradictions, their constant concern to make, every day, a free and independent newspaper. It is a reflection on journalistic work and thought.

Bensmaïl’s camera films the daily life of El–Watan journalists during the last election campaign. Never intruding, she seeks to show the Algerian political system and the counter-power represented by the press. Most of the documentary takes place in the newspaper’s headquarters, with rare exterior images, taken on the site of the new headquarters, under construction. The outside arrives by the news that invades the editorial staff.

The Social Dilemma, directed by Jeff Orlowski

The film highlights how social media platforms store their users’ data and target them using algorithms. Above all, The Social Dilemma unveils serious user privacy issues that they have been facing for some time.

This documentary shows some unknown technical scientists who are doing their best in their respective fields to improve our lives.

It follows the story of a family who uses social networks and reveals the worst consequences they can have on a person: invasion of privacy, manipulation, suicide, hate speech. All the dangers of the internet are discussed and highlighted in this documentary on Netflix.

Orlowski got the idea for this documentary after meeting people who totally deny the existence of climate change. He wanted to understand why and how these people were convinced of this theory, and quickly realized that they had been manipulated by social networks.

To feed his documentary, Orlowski consulted psychologists who are experts in addiction, but also former websites and social networks employees. Indeed, the movies presents creators of platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Their various testimonies reveal the hidden mechanisms of social networks that can endanger internet users by impacting their psychology.

All these experts, who themselves created these platforms, reveal the dangers the internet may pose to users.

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