Shattered Glass (2003)
Gabriella Jessica Christy - 04120110025



One of biggest scandal that even happen in history of journalism is Shattered Glass, which happen to this one guy named Stephen Glass. He’s one of staffs / writers who worked at New Republic Magazine in Washington D.C for three years (1995-1998). He is also the youngest of them all which their median age is 26. This New Republic itself was first published at 1914 and has been a fixture of American political commentary ever since. At that time if you can join this “the in-flight magazine of Air Force One” that’s what New Republic called itself, it has been a great achievement for such a young man like Stephen. One of his words which I really like from the movie is “Journalism is just the art of capturing behavior.” He used that term to write his articles, he wrote every single word that people said. At the beginning, it looks like his career in the journalism is so smooth and it’s easy for him to find news. His articles are entertaining and humorous. He’s soon got his editor’s attention and loved by the other staffs. Everything seems like plain sailing. But then, there is a change of the head editor because his editor Michael Kelly often fought with their boss since the boss has been acting so mean to the staffs. As Michael Kelly got himself kicked out from New Republic, a new head editor Charles Lane took the place. Then the conflict began and problems starts to arise for our hotshot journalist, one of their competitor Forbes Digital Tools did some research and proves that the sources for most of Steven’s articles are invalid or unavailable. The man who figured this out was Adam Penenberg.
Soon after Stephen’s editor, Charles, heard about that news he also tried digging around to figure out what did Stephen do to the articles and look out for the sources. At the end of the movie Steven was fired because they found out that he fabricated quotations, sources, and even entire events in 27 out of 41 articles that he made. In his last article which was titled “Hack Heaven”, Glass even tried to fake a company’s website and made his bother pretending to be one of the sources. If you really concentrate on the movie you can tell that he is lying since the first place. But, then again, it’s the purpose of the movie to make you confused which one is true which one is a lie. That’s how the movie works.
I, personally have to watch it over and over again to figure out which one is true or lie. In my opinion, Glass did a great job in those articles whether the one that he fabricated or the real one. The articles are very well written, full of imaginative and memorable detail. If it was me, that guy deserves a second chance because he still young and people made mistakes.
This movie is based on true story, so I try to find a fact about Stephen Glass from the outside sources. I found that Glass fictionalized his own story in The Fabulist, at 2003 a so-called "biographical novel" novel whose protagonist is named "Stephen Aaron Glass". His full name is Stephen Randall Glass. The New Republic's literary editor, Leon Wieseltier, complained, "The creep is doing it again. Even when it comes to reckoning with his own sins, he is still incapable of nonfiction. The careerism of his repentance is repulsively consistent with the careerism of his crimes. Also in 2003, Glass briefly returned to journalism, writing an article about Canadian marijuana laws for Rolling Stone. After journalism, Glass earned a law degree, magna cum laude, at Georgetown University Law Center. I also found his comment about Shattered Glass movie, “It was very painful for me. It was like being on a guided tour of the moments of my life I am most ashamed of. ” —Stephen Glass (Wikipedia,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Glass_%28reporter%29)
From the journalism perspective I can tell this is based on America press. At the beginning of the movie I found that Stephen is in the middle of something which looks like a conference and there was a condom advertisement there. As we know, the press in America is in fact has more freedom than our press in Indonesia. Compared with the often restricted Indonesian press, in America stuffs like free-sex, condom, public scandal etc. are a common thing on media. The press there can make an article about it freely while in Indonesia stuffs like that is against the norm in the country itself. This kind of free press also gave advantages to the country, not just from that aspect, people in that country will get involved in country construction. In its best form, Journalism worked as a self-learning for the public to educate themselves and to keep people aware with what happen in the country and in the world. That’s why we need to have a straight information and fact about one occasion. Cook it up right! At the end, Shattered Glass is as entertaining as it is educational. It provokes important questions about morals and judgment, about character and integrity, and about truth and responsibility in journalism. It's a great learning tool for young, aspiring journalists. Particularly in the way it engages you in the editorial process. We all have to remember that in journalism, we have to keep our fact straight because every article we made will be read by many people and we need to double, even triple check all sources, structure the article in a comprehensive flow. None of us want to be treated like Glass and none of us wants that kind of embarrassment to carry forward and taint our reputation in journalism. That’ll make for a bleak future. You knew that nowadays news is way too easy to spread. We want to be immortalized as a positive impact, not as a lesson on what not to do. Although having people put you in a dark light on the big screen is a notoriety that some also crave, as long as it gets their name out in the open.