Baby, Youre a Star  | American Journalism Review
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From AJR,   October 2000

Baby, Youre a Star   

By Lori Robertson
Lori Robertson (, a former AJR managing editor, is a senior contributing writer for the magazine.      

You lead a glamorous life. Yes, you. The journalist. Really. Why else would Hollywood continue to produce screenplays and TV scripts about you, the passionate, danger-loving seeker of truth?

Of course, these accounts are fictional--read: more exciting than real life--and the characters are usually stock--though uncannily on target. The latest addition is NBC's hour-long drama, "Deadline," premiering October 2 at 9 p.m. EST. Our hero, Wallace Benton (played by Oliver Platt), is a columnist at the New York Ledger "who lives life in boldface type and makes headlines of his own with his rabble-rousing 'Nothing but the Truth' byline," says the promo material. And he fits the nostalgic vision of a newspaper guy--lives and sleeps work; is a bit clumsy and scruffy, but affable; has a hard time getting along with his computer; has won a Pulitzer. Benton gets to the bottom of crimes and misdeeds with the help of a few graduate students, to whom he teaches investigative reporting at a university. "Deadline" conveniently is broadcast at an hour many real journalists are home from work. But, with a life like yours, do you really have time to watch a TV show?




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