Ah, the Newsroom. I gotta say: I absolutely adored it. I was hooked from the moment Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels) went off on a rant about how America might have been the greatest country on earth, but now wasn’t any more and people should be sad and disappointed about it. I saw that moment on facebook and thought, “This is a show I have to at least try.”
That clip showed me that this show was going to be a smart show, a show that didn’t have any fears of exposing and questioning things or the status quo. And I was right. The Newsroom is a show about a newsroom, a news-station and a news crew wanting to turn the way the news was being done upside down. They wanted to bring their viewers actual news, things they needed to know to make informed decisions about what to support, who to vote for, how to look at social issues, etc. They struggle with it – the opposition to what they’re doing – but keep on going.
They were on a ‘mission to civilize’. And I think the creator, Aaron Sorkin, is or was also on a mission. A mission to show how the news could be, should be done, to show how to navigate tricky situations, and how to be objective. In a way, The Newsroom gives its viewers some insight into the battles between the old media and the new, and lays out the dangers, possibilities and rules – if there are any – of both.
The Newsroom was only on the air for three seasons, but they surely changed the way that I, as a European, look at not just the American news, but also at the European news and more specifically at the way Dutch news is presented. I’m always thinking about whether or not they framed it in the best possible way, whether they highlighted all sides to the story, and more.
And isn’t that what good TV is all about? Making you think? So The Newsroom has done its job. I wish it could’ve had more seasons, but in the end, I’m happy that it was actually finished. It had a good ending, sad, but good.