A quick rejoinder to say that it strikes me that with the retreat of everyday journalism, the vacuum is mostly being filled by books and independent documentary films. Look at all the books and documentaries that have come out on the Iraq war while it’s still being waged. Remember that notion that the newspaper is the first draft of history? Maybe books and documentaries are fulfilling that role now. I read somewhere that last year alone, some 90 documentaries were released theatrically—more than any ever in a single year. And clearly, the most provocative films as a whole being made these days are nonfiction. I know I have a bias here, but it seems indisputable to me. Many people are tired of the same old fictional clichés and ready for something different, something true. The Wire proves that fiction can be just as true and deep as nonfiction. But it’s more the exception than the rule.
See you next week.