I studied journalism in college and have been a working journalist for several years now. We J-school students were always taught the importance of keeping your source confidential, just as much as we were taught to always have a reputable source to corroborate a story.
"It was not until I met her that I realized that with great people there's no difference between principle and the person."
But when you are pushed against a wall by a Supreme Court grand jury to reveal your source in a Watergate-like scandal or else go to jail, I have to ask myself: When do you draw the line in defending your integrity as a journalist and is it ever really okay to name-drop a source?
Such is the case for Rachel Armstrong, played by Kate Beckinsale, in Nothing But the Truth. The Golden Globe nominee plays a journalist who outs a CIA traitor in front page news about her involvement in a federal investigation against the government. After being questioned by a prosecutor to reveal how she got her information, Armstrong stays tight-lipped about her source. She is ordered to spend time in jail until she name drops her source. The movie then goes on a terrific but futile tear through first amendment rights and the vow to protect the rights of every citizen, including journalists.
Nothing isn't a movie or story we haven't heard of before, but it's interesting to see the story from the viewpoint of a female journalist--one whose capabilities as a mother, a wife and a law-abiding citizen are constantly questioned when in many cases a male journalist in the same predicament is revered as a heroic figure.
My rating: A-