The old movie line, “Stop the Press!,” is playing over and over in my head. I wish that the images in front of me were those wonderful black and white ones from films like “The Front Page” where the reporter Hildy Johnson gets the story. He literally stops the press and saves an innocent man from execution.
In fact, Americans love “The Front Page.” It was made into a film four times — two titled “The Front Page” in 1931 and 1974, “Switching Channels” in 1988 and my favorite, the 1940 “His Girl Friday” with Gary Grant and Rosalind Russell, who plays the formerly male Hildy.
But today, the press publishes images in full color, which loop around and around with half truth, untruth, myth, and stunt. I won’t repeat last week’ s major media topic to give it more “legs.” No. Just please,“Stop the Press!” from running without the truth.
Where are our Hildys? Come forward please! “Stop the Press!”
The good news is that we all can be Hildys. We can get to the truth and get it heard if we work at it. Creation and innovation and justice are alive in our society. We just need to use the right tactics to shout it out.
So today I am choosing to spotlight a Hildy who has done the job. Today’s Hildy is in fact a team, Anmol Chaddha, a doctoral student, and William Julius Wilson, a professor at Harvard. They “shout out” about the course they are teaching in an opinion piece for the Washington Post. They are using a favorite HBO show, “The Wire” to help students see the complexity of the causes of urban poverty. But, they take it to the level of “Owning the Press” by writing about their vision and sharing with readers of the Post. Theirs is a great story and a great tactic.
Let’s find some more Hildys.
- International Correspondent, Marilyn ChapinMassey