Roman Holiday
Literature & Arts Opinion Matters

Want a very sellable news story?

ROMAN HOLIDAY TOUCHES UPON A TIMELESS ISSUE IN JOURNALISM:
What Stories Are Worth Reporting

William Wyler made ‘Roman Holiday’ movie in 1953. He kept the film revolve around two characters: Princess Ann – effectively played by Audrey Hepburn, and Joe Bradley – characterized by Gregory Peck.

Audrey Hepburn immediately became a star after her debutant role in the film.

Gregory Peck, who was already a Hollywood star, is believed to have requested Wyler to give equal billing to his co-star Audrey after the halfway filming.

Roman Holiday won several awards and was also nominated for the Academy Awards (Oscars) for best picture.

Through the character of Joe Bradley, who is a journalist at the American News Service, Wyler showed the status of journalism.

Bad tempered and money minded bosses, and frustrated journalists who would do anything for a piece of news.

Even modern day journalism is handled by people like Joe’s boss who would bet money for exclusives, and by journalists like Joe who will try to build a plot and then sell news.

Roman Holiday

After learning that a lady who has suddenly appeared in his house is The Highness Princess Ann, Joe has a bet with his boss Hennessy, a role played by Hartley Power.

Joe asks Hennessy how much he will pay him for a ‘private, personal, exclusive interview’ of the princess.

Hennessy, who is the editor of the news service, has water in his mouth. He inquires if the interview will cover ‘love angle, too…’, to which Joe the journalist replies: “Practically all love angle.”

The greed of money making through exclusive news is then settled down in 5 Grand or 5000 Dollars.

Joe would plot a plan. He stalks the princess after she leaves his house. He follows her and also calls up his friend Irving Radovich, played by Eddie Albert, to take photographs of the princess without her notice.

Finally, Joe gets what he wants. He has photographs that could make exclusive story; enough to rip the princess and the Royalty apart and make them answerable to many things. But he changes his mind.

Love changes him. He understands the value of human connections and the responsibilities of being a journalist; it is not about making money on news especially on someone’s ‘private, personal, exclusive’ choices.

Journalism is not about ripping someone apart with your so-called ‘exclusive’ story. Journalism needs heart and wisdom of a journalist like Joe Bradley.

So, do you newsmen aspire for a terrific scoop! If yes, do tell me if you have forgotten Diana?