ProPublica and the Committee to Protect Journalists, along with NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, teamed up on Thursday night at New York City’s Cantor Film Center to present the documentary “Dateline-Saigon.” Thomas C. Herman’s film chronicles the groundbreaking reporting of five young reporters during the early years of the Vietnam War: The New York Times’s David Halberstam; The Associated Press’s Malcolm Browne, Peter Arnett, and photojournalist Horst Faas; and United Press International’s Neil Sheehan.
For the New York City premiere of the film, which had previously only been viewed on the festival circuit as Herman searches for a distributor, the event convened journalists, critics and others for a discussion of its subjects’ pursuit of the truth and the lessons for today’s journalistic landscape.
In a discussion moderated by ProPublica managing editor Robin Fields, Herman, Committee to Protect Journalists executive director Joel Simon, and NYU journalism professor and media critic Jay Rosen expounded on these themes.
Joel Simon on how the relationship between many American reporters covering military conflict changed after the Vietnam War, from being incorporated into the military forces to independent reporting:
Jay Rosen on how reporters often compete for the exact same story, rather than pushing beyond an agreed upon narrative:
Jay Rosen on the distinctions between journalism as an occupation with a calling and the media as an industrial complex:
Watch the full video of the discussion.