Posting on The Post

Rachel Alexander

News Editor

A Review of blockbuster hit The Post

It is the year 1971, and the newspaper The New York Times faces the Supreme Court for publishing the classified Pentagon Papers – documents exposing the massive cover-up of Vietnam War secrets held by four presidential administrations.  The Post, released in theaters January 12, picks up this story when the spotlight shifts to The Washington Post as the Papers fall into their hands.  Told through The Washington Post’s Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep), and editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), this historical thriller does not disappoint.

As the plot unfolds, I was intrigued by the multiple layers the story explored.  Katherine Graham, as the first female publisher of a major newspaper, is uniquely vulnerable confronting the glass ceiling, hesitant to break personal relationships and unwilling incite the drama of protests and rebellion.  I went into this movie expecting a strong female boss; what I got was a very real human.

The historical accuracies of this film are indeed to be commended, the drama only heightened by the engaging cinematography.  Director Steven Spielberg communicates a sense of action and thrill as the camera follows characters that appear for a scene and disappear; he captures movement as the newspaper travels from hand to hand, and the written word is delivered from fresh off the press.

As the team of journalists, editors, and page designers race against the deadline to print, I got this sense of an incredible team energy.  Everyone is committed to something greater than themselves: the duty of the free press to uphold democracy – to protect liberty and challenge authority.  As a sucker for those big-philosophical ideals and virtues, it was as if I felt nostalgia for a time I never experienced.  And as a student journalist myself, who sometimes feels annoyed by deadlines and the gridlock of a large team, I begin to see the value of my position.  There are always stories to tell – sure, maybe not monumental government secrets, but stories nonetheless.  Stories of students and teachers who all hopefully become a little more connected through the flow of free information.


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