Friday, May 23, 2008

The Insider (Discussion Questions)

Post-viewing Questions:


1. What did you learn about the media from this film?
2. What factors influence publication of a story?
3. How "democratic" is the media today?
4. What factors influenced censorship and eventual publication of the Jeffery Wigand/Brown and Williamson story?
5. How did this story affect the credibility of CBS News, in particular "60 Minutes"?


Extra Credit:
Briefly discuss one of (many) reasons this film has been surrounded in controversy since its release.
Additional information about the film (including information on the controversy surrounding the film): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Insider_(film)
A great interactive resource on the growing consolidation of the media - what effect this has on consumers - what this means with regard to information, etc. (useful in answering #3):
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cool/giants/
Another useful resource - especially useful when answering #3 (scroll to page 8 and 15 for specific information relating to question #3):
http://www.mediaed.org/videos/CommercialismPoliticsAndMedia/RichMediaPoorDemocracy/studyguide/RichMediaPoorDemocracy.pdf


If you finish early, visit the links below. Post your comment under this post for extra credit.
http://hansengeorge.blogspot.com/2008/05/be-change.html
http://hansengeorge.blogspot.com/2007/11/ending-hunger.html
http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2008/cnn.heroes/

16 comments :

Maggie said...

1.That there are people behind the media who worry about themselves more than about free speech... I guess I understand that CBS was worried to get sued because the tobacoc industry is really rich, but still...

2. Well, it was hard to publish the story of the insider, because he had signed that agreement, so it was practically illegal for him to tell the media and so they were at risk of getting sued. It's always dangerous to publish a story that some people don't want to see in the media.

3. I don't know... Do they show everything they know? And if they don't, how would we know? But it's definitely better than in some other countries, the media can not be censored legally(at least they shouldn't)and I think we're pretty well off ;)

4. First of all Wigand was threatened and so he wasn't sure if he should tell the story. Then, 60 Minutes was afraid to get sued by the tobacco industry and then that Mississippi person sued their own attorney general... I didn't really get that part... But eventually the Wall Street Journal published the story and said that 60 Minutes didn't do their job right and so they had practically no choice but to publish it...

5. I think it affected their credibility in a bad way because they didn't tell the public all they knew. Plus they pretty much let their source down, so I don't think people would trust them anymore...

schneider3 said...

1. Most people dont get the real story just the one that they find "juicy" They put in the details they think people want.

2. It can be whos got permission to give out the story. Like maggie said you can get sued for publishing a story that people dont want to see.

3. It's pretty democratic. It puts a lot of emphasis on the story, whether or not its getting the truth.

4. After Wigand was threatened to not tell the story, 60 minutes didn't want to get sued for it, but they got mad at the wall street journal for publishing it. Wall street said that 60 minutes didnt do anything right so it was officially their right to publish it.

5. It effects their credibility a lot. When you hear a story on the media and realize later it was all a lie you dont really have any trust. Kind of like in movies when they say its based on a true story but in reality its a different story completely molded and quirked into something that the producer thinks is better. In the end most people will still probably listen to them.

allbaugh3 said...

1) That the media will lie and change stories to make them sound better and more interesting just to get better and higher ratings.

2) The factors included the people publishing the story had a hard enough time getting it out there, let alone risking legal issues and getting arrested or sent to court, or even getting sued.

3) The media today is pretty deomcratic, sometimes the media isn't always fair and truthful.

4) When Wigand was threatened, he was kind of scared to tell the story. This made 60 Minutes unsure, and made them believe they might get sued by the tobacco company. After the Wall Street Journal published an article about the fiasco, 60 Minutes was pretty much cornered, and had to show it.

5) It made the credibility of not only 60 Minutes, but of the whole CBS News unreliable. It made both of these sources untrustworthy, losing many fans and lowering ratings.

schwartz2 said...

1.The media worries about how their repuatation would look if they published something that they thought would ruin their credibility.

2.It was difficult to publish wigans story about the tabacco companies because he had signeda confidenciality agreement,It was illegal for him to tell the media and the media would not air the story because they (CBS)was afraid of getting a multibillion dollar lawsuite. It is risky to publish a story that people don't want to see in the media.

3.I think that the media is democratic becausethe stories the do may or may not be truthful and they do not care if it is or not as long as they still have veiwers like you.

4.Wigand and his family were threatened and he didn't know if he should tell his story to the media(60 minutes). 60 Minutes and cbs were afraid to get sued by the tobacco industry and a person from Mississippi sued their attorney general. Lowel birdman the reporter helping wigand leaked the story and evedince to the Wall Street Journal and they published it and acused 60 minutes of not doing their jobs, and couldn't wait for forever so the published it.

5.Their credibility was unreliable, and untrustworthy because they let their sourse,("whistle blower")down and enabled his life to be put into danger. As a result of that they lost their ratings and their veiwer's trust.

schwartz2 said...

1.The media worries about how their repuatation would look if they published something that they thought would ruin their credibility.

2.It was difficult to publish wigans story about the tabacco companies because he had signeda confidenciality agreement,It was illegal for him to tell the media and the media would not air the story because they (CBS)was afraid of getting a multibillion dollar lawsuite. It is risky to publish a story that people don't want to see in the media.

3.I think that the media is democratic becausethe stories the do may or may not be truthful and they do not care if it is or not as long as they still have veiwers like you.

4.Wigand and his family were threatened and he didn't know if he should tell his story to the media(60 minutes). 60 Minutes and cbs were afraid to get sued by the tobacco industry and a person from Mississippi sued their attorney general. Lowel birdman the reporter helping wigand leaked the story and evedince to the Wall Street Journal and they published it and acused 60 minutes of not doing their jobs, and couldn't wait for forever so the published it.

5.Their credibility was unreliable, and untrustworthy because they let their sourse,("whistle blower")down and enabled his life to be put into danger. As a result of that they lost their ratings and their veiwer's trust.

schwartz2 said...

1.The media worries about how their repuatation would look if they published something that they thought would ruin their credibility.

2.It was difficult to publish wigans story about the tabacco companies because he had signeda confidenciality agreement,It was illegal for him to tell the media and the media would not air the story because they (CBS)was afraid of getting a multibillion dollar lawsuite. It is risky to publish a story that people don't want to see in the media.

3.I think that the media is democratic becausethe stories the do may or may not be truthful and they do not care if it is or not as long as they still have veiwers like you.

4.Wigand and his family were threatened and he didn't know if he should tell his story to the media(60 minutes). 60 Minutes and cbs were afraid to get sued by the tobacco industry and a person from Mississippi sued their attorney general. Lowel birdman the reporter helping wigand leaked the story and evedince to the Wall Street Journal and they published it and acused 60 minutes of not doing their jobs, and couldn't wait for forever so the published it.

5.Their credibility was unreliable, and untrustworthy because they let their sourse,("whistle blower")down and enabled his life to be put into danger. As a result of that they lost their ratings and their veiwer's trust.

perry2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
schwartz2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
perry2 said...

1. That they will put just about anything in the media that they find interesting and only put in what they think people want to hear and not the complete story

2. Whether or not they can legally print it without censorship and somtimes who its about and whenther or not it will damage the medias reputation

3. Its really democratic because of all the diveresity and different outlooks of the different people who work there and all the different oppinoins

4. Wigand wasnt sure at first when he got threatened but then late decided to tell the public about the addiction factor of the tobacco and 60 minutes didnt tell the story because of the chance of being sued by the company

5. They were viewed as being really outgoing and not caring and them not publishing it showed that they were affraid of the real issues

Becca said...

1. I learned that they were cash. The media messes everything up and the way they portray people is wrong. The story is always flip flopped. The way they write it scares them because they don't want top be sued or judged.
2.If they are appopriate for people to see and for it to be on the news.
3.The news today shows us a lot, but then again we are told a lot of gossip and not the real thing. I think we are told half the story but not the other.
4.The sentual agreements they had.
5.It showed the way that people have to act during news casts and it alwso showed how stressful and hard it may be. It didn't show all of the facts and it might have hurt them a bit.
~~~Derrick and Becca~~~

Waltz2 said...

1)the people in the media are scared for their personal safety and they are scared of getting sued by big tobacco because they have alot of money
2) the factors that influence the publication of the story are that they could have been sued, and it was illegal because they are breaking policies with the tobacoo comapany
3) the media really watches what they put out because there is a possibility of getting sued and they could be breaking laws if they publish certain information
4)Mainly getting sued and the saftey of wigand and other people in his family, they didnt want to put out false information and have their credibility ruined.
5) cbs took kindof a fall after this story was out, they were publicaly critisized by wallace for not portraying him in the right way and not telling the truth

bellis2010 said...

1. The media in this film not only showed that power of addiction can overcome itself but also can outshine the media.

2. Not only were the people scared about being sued for stating the truth that everyone should and knows about.

3. The media is far from being democratic but it is still obvious it shows up.

4. Everyone knew about ciggarrettes addictive properties but it hadn't been presented publicly. This movie did it for the first time and they knew it would be worth any concenquenses.

5. 60 minutes felt no backlash from presenting this movie. They only gained confidence of being able to present such serious subjects.

Jackie Bellis

leanne2 said...

1. With the media, they could care less about anything, as long as they have a story and that they look good in the situation.

2. Factors that indicate the people include that tobacco companies say that their products aren’t bad for you when really in the real world their product kills.

3. Fewer and fewer people are controlling the information that the people get. So yes, it’s pretty democratic. The stories that the media writes aren’t always truthful, but that’s the way they get the work done.

4. Wigand was threatened, but not only was he threatened, but his family was too. So this made it very hard for him to decide on whether he should tell the story or not. 60 minutes then got worried and wondering if they would get sued about the story or not. Wall Street went ahead and published the story.

5. The credibility became very untrustworthy. Because they lied, they lost a lot of viewers and fans. So, they lost a lot of trust.

Dague2 said...

1. I learn that the media is very relentless and they like the big news stories. Also the media gets scared of big companies and doesn’t always publish things that might create controversy.
2. Their reputation did because it was on the line and the reporter that really pushed for it.
3. The media has the same stories and content but your just getting it from different sources.
4. Wigand signed a confidentiality agreement that should have keep him from saying anything so CBS was scared that they were going to be faced with a lawsuit that would put them into bankruptcy.
5. It hurt them a lot. They threw Wigand under the bus. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to talk and they talked him into it and he lost everything. Then they weren’t going to show it.

turnipseed2 said...

1. I learned that the media didn’t want to cause any controversy with any of the stories.
2. Lowell Burkman pushed them about their reputation.
3. I think the media today has the same kind of stories and context but just different people going out and getting the information, giving the stories different personalities.
4. They didn’t want to put out any false information or ruin their reputation that they built up.
5. Since they lied, they lost lots of viewers making the viewers not knowing if they could trust CBS: “60 minutes” anymore.

J Frawley 2 said...

(1) I Learned That The Media Holds Back Most Of The Truth When They Are In Between A Very Controversial State Like Whether Or Not To Expose Governmental Secrets And Figure Out The Truth Of Tobacco.

(2) Some Factors Are The Ideas Of How Controversial It Could Be And How Bad It Could Ruin Peoples Lives And If There Are Confidentiality Agreements On The Story

(3) the Media Is Probably More Democratic Today Because It Gives Information That Would Benefit All People And And Holds nothing Back Of Information That Is Needed.

(4) The Factors I Would Say Would Have To Be The Confidentiality Agreement And That The Corporate Part Of CBS Was Withholding The Information Because They Didn’t Want To Be Sued.

(5) It Made 60 Minutes Seem Unreliable And Full Of Lies And If They Tell The Truth It Isn’t The Full Truth. It Made A Lot Of People Not Trust 60 Minutes