If it Bleeds, it Leads

The world of journalism can be cut throat and competitive. While people are constantly competing against one another, it can range in degrees of competitiveness. The movie, Nightcrawler, shows one extreme end of the spectrum, in which a person will do whatever it takes to get a story and another will put what they can on air even if it is not morally ethical.

Lou Bloom has his own issues that can help contribute to his behavior, but they do not excuse his actions in the movie. He takes a job that can be unobtrusive and doesn’t conflict with police work and makes it something much more. One thing that stood out to me is how he would do anything for a story. He intervened in a crime scene by moving a body before the police got there and withheld information from the police. Bloom only represents an extreme in the news gathering service, as not all are like him and are willing to break the law like he does. Bloom seems to not care about the consequences as long as he gets the story, and his money.

Bloom does everything he can to get his money, to the point he manipulates crimes and gets his partner killed. He really has no sense of moral compass, and it seems he does not have a conscious. After he gets his partner killed, he goes on to hire more “interns” and expands his business. He shows almost no emotion throughout the film, besides anger when he doesn’t get his way. Bloom, as a character, does not represent the whole of news gathering journalists, even if the ones in the film seem cut throat.

There is a thin line between being respective of a victim and not, and Bloom always chose to cross that line. With the slogan “if it bleeds, it leads”, Bloom takes news reporting to a whole new level. He does not understand the concept of space and respect for a victim, getting in their face and showing their injuries in gruesome ways. While the film depicted a disturbed individual well, it adds to the idea that journalists are cut throat and untrustworthy. In media, journalists have been depicted in a negative light and are constantly under scrutiny. The saving grace to the negativity is the character who tries to tell Nina, the content director, that some of what she is putting on television is not true, ethical, and part of a larger story. This character shows the audience that there are still people who try to do the right thing.

Overall, the movie depicts the negative extreme in journalism today. With bribes and people who will do whatever to get a “worthy” story, it shows that people do not always play by the rules ethically, and sometimes legally. While there are plenty of journalists who do the right thing and take into consideration many factors, such as the SPJ Code Of Ethics, this movie proves that there are those who do not follow rules set before them.


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