46 Responses

  • The movie begins with a woman at the beach following with her eyes shutting expecting something to happen. A man approaches behind and shoots. The main reporter goes along with another to the mothers house. She is waiting while her husband goes to identify the body. She receives the phone call and is assured her daughter is gone. The accompanying reporter snaps a photo of her crying with the phone and they leave. The murderer calls the reporter and lets him know that she was only number one and the list will go up to five. He continues by murdering an elderly couple and destroying their home to smell of their death. The fourth death was of a man the reporter interviewed leading to possible reference to previous murders. He mentioned the man killed all of his brothers family. The man calls the reporter and tells him his plan to get his girlfriend. By the time the reporter gets to the school she is gone. He calls again and says to meet him and trade himself for his girlfriend. He comes with police and the murderer kills himself. The girlfriend is okay. In the end as the reporter and his girlfriend were home, the murderer came there too because the man that was dead at the scene was just someone that looked similar. The lights went out in the house because of a storm and the two men fought until the reporter shot the sociopath.

  • “The Mean Season

    The movie begins with a murder story with Malcolm Anderson of the Miami Journal reporting on it. He goes to the Paper in order to quit, but gets tied up in this case instead. For a romantic interest, he plans to move to Colorado and relieve himself from reporting on murders. A call from the murderer draws him in deeper to the case. When Anderson starts receiving more fame than the killer for his correspondence, the killer gets angry.

    “The Mean Season” shows the ability of the media and investigative journalism. Using his own means to unravel the case of the sociopath all the while following the ethics of journalism, Anderson shows the power of the press. As a reporter, he has an additional ability to the police: communication. “You’re going to be my conduit to the public,” the killer speaks during the second phone call. The movie explores the content-providing aspect of journalism and fully materializes it to an extreme.

  • Tonight’s Cronkite’s Night at the Movies showcased Kurt Russell in the Movie “The Mean Season.” Russell plays Malcolm Anderson who is a reporter for the Miami Journal who is tired of reporting on gruesome local murders. He decides to move with his school teacher girlfriend to a small town in Colorado. Before the two can move he is contacted by a killer who wants Anderson to be his “conduit to the public.” Anderson seemed to reluctantly accept to write for the killer and in my opinion went for the famous story, which one coworker called “Pulitzer territory”, over the safe and happy ending in Colorado. His girlfriend later in the story asks him what I think is the primary question of the movie. It was whether he was “reporting it or participating in it.” I think that the reason this movie was picked for students to watch today was that it questions the role of the media. It raises the question of whether Anderson should have even been reporting the story in the first place. At the start, before they decided to run with the story, what looked to be an editor asked Anderson if he had agreed to something like confidentiality with the killer or not. He said he hadn’t and that seemed to be enough justification for him to run the story. But if he had agreed to confidentiality, would he be expected to not report things like a serial killer? Even if it affects the greater good of the public? This is what I took to be the most important thing to take away.
    Another important thing for future journalists to take away was when he ran a story without checking to make sure the facts he had were in fact true. Although the movie briefly went into it being wrong, I feel that as journalists this is somethings that should never happen.
    As for the overal movie, it was a bit cliched. Whether it was the movie having high drama music that’s typically found in horror movies and then the climax of the scene being something silly or the scene where Anderson jumped the bridge in a total “what if” moment. In all, the acting and story were good and the themes of journalism found in the story were important for all of us to see.

  • The Mean Season is not only a movie made for entertainment, but also a look inside a reporter’s life. As Steve Doig mentioned while introducing the film “killer calling reporter” situations have become somewhat of a “cliché.” This is more than true since we have stories such as the Zodiac killer whose tale was also made into a movie. Kurt Russel’s character, Malcolm Anderson also mentioned numerous times throughout the film that he received calls with tips or anonymous sources wishing to aid in the (investigative) journalistic process. First of all I found that rather interesting because although stories like the “killer calling reporter” ones have occurred, I am sure the only reason that they were made into films is because of the unusualness. The rarity also played a role in the journalist getting recognition himself. However I do believe that many people do want to help and think that tipping off a reporter or writer with “news” would help. This realization only reaffirms the necessity to check sources.
    When Anderson interviewed the killer without knowing and then published the story made me cringe. Not only did attribute to the dramatic effect on how the killer was playing games with the character, but Anderson demonstrated a huge blunder I am sure journalists make occasionally. Anderson did not fact check as he should have and thus the killer succeeded in bringing Anderson down, because his audience began to doubt his credibility.
    All in all I thought that The Mean Season served as ripe entertainment and a fascinating insight into aspects of crime/investigative reporting.

  • I had never heard of this movie before, so I looked it up. When I did, adjectives showed up like scary, violent, and suspenseful. I do not usually like movies like this so I was not so sure I was going to like this movie. The music in the beginning was kind of gross and I could tell the movie was really old. The movies starts out with a murder of a girl, then the reporter goes to her house and her mom gets on the phone and starts bawling. Then the movie is kind of about the reporter’s life. He covers many stories on murders and he doesn’t want to do that anymore. I thought the nudity was unnecessary. It was interesting to see (sort of) what goes into reporting and covering stories. Especially murder stories. It seems kind of scary, yet I think the movie was way overdramatized. I don’t think I learned much from this movie other than it takes a lot of time and effort to get some stories, and that its possible to get personally involved in your job.

  • The Mean Season is a thriller about a reporter named Malcolm Anderson (played by Kurt Russel) who grows tired of reporting for the Miami Herald. He promises his girlfriend that he will move to a more idyllic place in Colorado so that he can write for a smaller paper. However, before he can make the move to his new life, Malcolm must cover an “execution-style” murder of a young woman. This case is only the beginning of a series of murders committed by an attention-craving serial killer, who calls Malcolm, and claims that he will kill again.
    This is movie proves quite appropriate, as earlier today we listened to a lecture about the ethics of journalism in JMC 110. The killer continues to call Malcolm and give information about his recent killings while warning that he will strike again. This contact could be construed as Malcolm’s involvement with the murders. Therefore, his objectivity and detachment is threatened by this close contact. Not only this, but his credibility is threatened, as he gets most of his information about the murders from this one source. The readers could see him only as an acting voice for the serial killer to speak with. The movie explores these ethical dilemmas throughout its course, and it seems to be matter of seeking truth versus minimizing harm. It is a common problem that a journalist might face, and this movie provides an interesting example of that type of situation.

  • The Mean Season is about a journalist named Malcolm Anderson who is a crime reporter in the Miami Journal. He goes to investigate a crime scene then reports on it. He quickly becomes involved with the murder when the killer begins to call him. The killer wants attention and decides to contact Malcolm so he can write about him in the papers. Malcolm and his girlfriend get harassed by this killer with his constant calls and the killer then kidnaps the girlfriend when she gets out of work. In the end, all is good and everyone is safe. The killer is eventually killed. I learned that if you are a reporter you can sometimes be put into sticky situations even if you do not plan on it. You get involved with the things and people you write about. Being a journalist can be very dangerous and you need to make sure you know all of the facts before you write about it because sometimes your sources might lie to you.

  • Movie Night Wednesday on September 26 featured a movie called The Mean Season. The film started out seemingly normal with a reporter for a Miami newspaper named Malcolm Anderson. Just as Malcolm is ready to leave the newspaper his boss assigned him one last murder story-which is the last thing he wants. The reporter becomes tangled up in a sticky situation. The murdered from the last article he wrote begins to call him. After multiple articles on the strange calls are written, requested by the caller, the situation intensifies. The murderer kidnaps Malcolm Anderson’s girlfriend. When Malcolm and police attempt to chase the criminal they discover a body with his face shot off by a river. That night the murderer shows up at the house Malcolm and his girlfriend are at in efforts to persuade Malcolm to write more articles on him. In the end, Malcolm shoots the murderer.

    Despite the fact that the movie got extremely cheesy in the intense action scenes, I thought it was overall a good film.

  • Anderson is a reporter for a newspaper in Miami. He has spent years covering the worst crimes in the area. He makes a promise to his girlfriend that they will move away, but he breaks this promise as he begins to cover a serial killer.
    The stories become to life when the killer begins to contact Anderson personally. The calls begin at his work phone but progress to the point of the killer contacting him on his home phone. The lines between writing the story and being the story begin to blur.
    The calls continue and the killer reminds Anderson that no one is safe from him. He must try to stay calm to make an attempt to minimize harm. When he is concerned his girlfriend is in danger, he races off to find her. Before he can reach her, she is kidnapped by the killer.
    They follow the kidnapper into the everglades and Anderson is reunited with girlfriend. Reporters swarm the two and give them no space. It must have been difficult for Anderson to be on the other side of reporting, seeing how awful it is for people to dig into your life.

  • Cronkite Night at the Movies features the movie The Mean Season directed by Phillip Borsos.

    Despite the poor acting and the predictable plot line The Mean Season presented a disturbing question regarding ethics. The main character, Malcolm is a reported at The Miami Journal. He is contacted on several occasions by the man behind several of the murders in the Miami area. This movie is based on an entirely fictional plotline. Malcolm informs his editors and the police of his contact with the killer. He, ultimately, plays into the hands of the killer by doing exactly what the killer wants him to do – he uses the information that killer gives to him in his stories.

    This does not seem ethically right for Malcolm to have done. In the case of a hostage situation in which ransom is being demanded the police do not give the criminal exactly what they want, instead this is what Malcolm did. The information should have all been given to the police to assist them in their investigation into finding the killer.

  • The movie “The Mean Season” shed light on a lesser known side of journalism. Typically, when we watch the nightly newscast, read the front page of the newspapers, or log on to our favorite online news source, the risks of being a journalist don’t come to mind. I had not considered the potential dangers of the career I aspire to attain. Obviously, the movie was overdramatized, but I think there is some truth to what is being portrayed. There will always be horrific stories to be reported, between murder, theft, fraud, rape etc. The people at the root of the stories-the criminals-will always have a presence. These people desire attention and a feeling of significance, so they harass those who are responsible for the amount of attention they receive: journalists. In my opinion, releasing these stories to the public is just fueling the fire. More attention seems to mean more crime. However, being a journalist is informing the public of the truth, no matter the repercussions.

  • Malcolm Anderson faces a problem that I think most journalists eventually come in contact with—although maybe not to such an extreme. Journalists face decisions every day that they are going to have to live with. Sometimes, I think journalists go too far, forgetting that the people involved within the story have feelings (good or bad in Malcolm’s case).
    Malcolm Anderson is a reporter that gets caught up in the idea of a story—he just can’t turn one down, especially a good one. But it not only jeopardizes his life, but the lives of the people around him. I think in a more realistic world for journalists, we have to ask ourselves “are you reporting it or participating in it?” as Christine says in the movie.
    I think the correct answer should be both, but in a different way than Malcolm takes it. A journalist should participate in what they are reporting by putting themselves in the shoes of those involved in the story. Our integrity shouldn’t be compromised just for a story, and our compassion for human beings should not be forgotten along the way either.

  • At this week’s Cronkite Movie Wednesday, students watched Phillip Borsos’s The Mean Season. Kurt Russell stars as Malcolm Anderson, a reporter for a Miami newspaper. Worn from years of covering brutal crimes in South Florida, he looks forward to moving out of the city with his girlfriend. Instead, Malcolm gets pulled into covering a serious of gruesome murders. Eventually, he becomes so involved in investigating the story that the murderer calls Malcolm to tell him that another person will be killed.
    The Mean Season can be interpreted by young journalists in several ways. Malcolm is exhausted from working crime stories in Miami, which is truthful in the sense that working in big markets can be exceptionally stressful and demanding. In addition, Malcolm must be completely dedicated to his work and reporting on his beat in order to put out the best information. But at the same time, it detracts heavily from his social life, another challenge journalists must face. Finally, the film provides a shocking example of a reporter becoming part of a story. Of course, journalists should report on stories, not become the story (which Malcolm does successfully), but sometimes the line can become blurred between covering a story and becoming a part of it.

  • “The Mean Season” stars Kurt Russell as Malcolm Anderson, a reporter for the Miami Journal, who gets caught in the middle of a deadly cat and mouse game with an attention obsessed murderer. Although “The Mean Season” was definitely overdramatic (at one point a frantic Kurt Russell even jumps on a retracting bridge to race to save his girlfriend) it did present some interesting journalistic dilemmas. In the scene where Anderson unknowingly meets the murderer in a trailer park, there are some ethical questions raised. For one, the murderer asks Anderson for payment for his information which Anderson automatically rejects, vehemently saying he never pays sources. Anderson then goes on to print the article only to find out the murderer had made up the information and given him a false name. This shows how important it is for journalists to check and recheck sources multiple times before printing anything. Not only did Anderson make himself and the Miami Journal look bad… he also let the killer get away and later kidnap his girlfriend. Overall, I thought the movie was very farfetched but entertaining nonetheless. Although the odds of this kind of thing happening to an everyday journalist are very slim, journalists should still be aware of the dangers out there when covering stories of this caliber.

  • The 1985 film The Mean Season starring Kurt Russell chronicles Miami Herald reporter Malcolm Anderson as he delves into the murders concocted by the “Numbers Killer”. The film is based on John Katzenbach’s novel In the Heat of the Summer and, needless to say, this movie packed the heat. The plot of the movie progressed cleanly and with plenty of action, as Anderson strives to cover a slew of murders committed by a serial killer who confides in him, telling him that he will kill more innocent civilians. Each time the killer calls Anderson via phone, Anderson’s emotions flurry, causing distress in his professional and personal lives. When the killer kidnaps Malcolm’s girlfriend, Anderson quickly gets thrown into the stories he covers, further complicating Malcolm’s news stories. Although this is not the typical life of the professional journalist, the movie shows the viewer that there is a line between covering the stories and being a part of them that a journalist must balance.

  • As a fan of thrillers, I loved The Mean Season, but as a journalist, not so much. Malcolm Anderson’s situation reminded me that journalists are always in the public eye, and being involved with the wrong story can attract much attention. Anderson’s reports on Alen Delour’s murders nearly resulted in his own murder, when the deranged killer saw the person writing about him as a target. Stories can be risky, and I’m hesitant to take on those that can be dangerous.
    I thought it was interesting that Delour repeatedly mentioned the codependency between himself and Anderson. The murderer needed Anderson to get attention, and Anderson needed the murderer for stories.
    Plot aside, I loved that the movie was filmed in the Miami Harold newsroom. It had an authentic feel, and the hustle and bustle added to the movie’s energy. It was a great and entertaining movie, but also a warning of the risk that comes with such a public job.

  • Malcom Anderson, a Miami news reporter, simply writes about the crimes in the local area about other people-or so he thought. Little does he know that he would one day find his name written in the paper making him part of the latest scandals. Tired of reporting about gruesome murder stories, he plans to move away to escape his job, but a mysterious phone call pulls him back in before he can leave. He receives a phone call from the killer of the recent crime he reported, telling him he is eager to continue his killing crimes. Soon after, Anderson finds that he has become part of this news scandal, with headlines saying the murderer continually calls him to let him know he is not stopping yet. Although the situation is overly dramatized, it shows how journalists have a dangerous job. Journalists have to be courageous in everything they do, but be careful of how far they get involved with a piece they cover. “The Mean Season”, while exaggerated at times, clearly depicted the challenges of a journalist overall.

  • Malcolm Anderson, played by Kurt Russell, is a reporter at the Miami Journal and gets involved in a murder case. The killer contacts Malcolm shortly after his first murder and wants Malcolm to publish his story. Malcolm gets in over his head, and by the end of the movie finds himself face to face with the killer.
    The Mean Season showed a journalist who took a dangerous and risky story for the public. Malcolm originally wanted to help everyone and figure out the mystery behind the killer, but ended up becoming too involved in the story.
    I think that, as a journalist, he was brave for taking on the story, but ended up not being the right person for the job. A journalist’s job is to seek out the truth and inform the public, but I believe if that means putting themselves in such a dangerous situation they should back away from the story.

  • On September 26, the movie viewed was entitled, “The Mean Season.” This movie was so addicting, even though it was cliche and I had already predicted the fact that Christine, the girlfriend, was going to be associated with the murder and her reporter boyfriend. A scene that stuck out to me was when the second and third murder of the elderly couple occurred. After seeing the crime scene Kurt Russel’s character walks outside and is swarmed by reporters. I find this fascinating because they’re ALL reporters that need a story and have a deadline and its interesting how a reporter is the headline. He knows how the business works and he simply got dragged into it. Its terrifying to know that a murderer can be so crazed and find out personal information like getting Christine’s phone number and being able to track her down and plot the incident with her car “problems.” It makes me wonder how many reporters in the world have to actually deal with this situation in real life – and what are their reactions! I would be scared for my life with anything because you never know who is watching! You obviously must be doing something right with your writing to catch the attention of the public as well as a crazy serial killer and get dragged into the plot.

  • The film, “The Mean Season”, really highlighted the dark sides of a journalist’s job. From a news consumer stand point, journalism may seem like a relatively safe field to go in to, when in reality it can be quite the opposite. Malcolm Anderson, played by Kurt Russell, faces many hardships and life threatening situations just because he happened to be targeted by a murderer for his writing style that stood out in his local paper. The murderer then used the reporter as the “mouth piece” to report his wrong doings. Although the story has a cliché happy ending and it seems like something like this would never happen, in reality, it does. In print, radio, and broadcast journalism reporters face hostile situations, people taking over, and all sorts of other situations involving acts that can frighten or harm journalists. Journalism may seem like a relatively harmless field to go in to, but it’s not. You have to deal with new consumers judging you, critics picking at you, constant deadlines, fast paced story coverage, and much more.

  • Well, the Mean Season was a rather interesting film if I dare say. At the beginning, I really loved the concept of the plot and was excited to solve this grotesque puzzle. However, as the film progressed the great corniness of eighties films with the dramatic music and so forth really distracted and took away from the story for me. I really loved Kurt Russell’s performance, and the chaotic atmosphere of the newsroom. This movie brought an interest about writing books or novels for the future for me. A career that I have never considered before, until tonight. However, it truly makes sense to write from the inspirations of journalism experiences. In addition, I love thrillers and mysteries that require thinking and observation, which for all journalism students is very appropriate. Furthermore, I did love how the whole audience participated in our anger, laughter, and moments of awe or sadness.

  • Cronkite Night at the Movies provided an entertaining film entitled “The Mean Season” filled with action and suspense. In the movie, a young Kurt Russell stars as Malcolm Anderson, a reporter tired of seeing his name next to the murder reports he writes for a Miami newspaper. However, his attempt to leave the murder topic fails when a past killer Malcolm reported on claims he will strike again. Throughout the film, various calls from the murderer drive the plot as Malcolm’s status as a journalist is used for popular gain of the killings. Eventually, the rising action leads to a climax when Malcolm’s own love interest is in danger. With a suspenseful ending, the film finishes with the safety of both Malcolm and his girlfriend in hopes that this will finally be the end to the frightening calls and murders. Overall, I believe the movie plays its role as an entertaining film depicting a journalist whose responsibility goes well beyond reporting crime. The character of Malcolm Anderson is the only individual the murderer wants to speak with, an interesting idea when applied to today’s journalist. Indeed, the 1985 Hollywood film may not accurately depict how a journalist and law enforcement would react today, but it does provide a concept that at times, journalists may be responsible for things outside their job description. An interesting film, I enjoyed Cronkite Movie Night and am looking forward to the next one!

  • The only thing good about the movie “The Mean Season” were the opening remarks before the movie was shown. As realistic as the news room appeared, it paled in comparison to the bad acting and the story in general. Tonight I am writing from a personal position and not as I would write if I were given this as a ‘job’, as I would have trouble. I am so glad that I am not a movie critic, I might be fired tonight. Sadly I am old enough to remember movies that were made like this and am very thankful for modern technology. From the gratuitous bare breast shot from a non supportive partner to the poor quality of acting, the movie seemed more of a mockery of the news reporter’s life than an honest or even entertaining depiction. I will blame some of this on the material as I have seen many of these actors in other things and they were great. There was not much of a reason behind anything having to do with this reporter. To be burned out at only eight years? Maybe he should have chosen another line of work, or maybe there should have been another reason given besides the classic line of…I don’t want my name listed beside a picture of another dead body…really? If one were to base their decision to become a reporter based on this movie, no one would be a reporter. The thought that a murderer would be that close to a reporter to actually kidnap the girlfriend, and then have a discussion as to who the bigger ‘star’ was, well, to say that is farfetched is an understatement. Yes in doing some stories there is a certain amount of danger, and one has to think and be cautious, but I would think there would be more support from the department and the police so as not to have it turn into a movie of the week. Yes there were ethics situations that were addressed, which is probably what we were supposed to be looking for, but these issues were not given the time needed to really point this out…it was not explained very well within the context of the storyline. Not only was the reporter stressed, his girlfriend wanted to leave him due to his job, the murderer starts calling him at home and then kidnaps the girl. As far as I was concerned, he lost credibility when they threw out the accuracy card when printing a story that should have been verified with a large corporation and the military; that was brilliant on the author’s part, himself a journalist. (Note sarcasm). I don’t buy this story at all. How can one be concerned about ethics when one doesn’t even take the time to check for accuracy? Now if you want to call this fiction…great! Should have had a better screen writer, as the movie had many laughing, and not for the right reasons. The final thought I was left with tonight was what Jennifer Sizemore had to say when she visited and suggested there was another W we should consider adding to our questions that need answered.

  • Although many gave this movie a bad review due to its poor acting and writing, I was more focused on the question “how accurate is this”? I know that the story itself is fictional but what about the smaller conflicts? Could those have some truth to them? Their were a few things that I was already concerned about the business that this movie highlights. A huge conflict in this movie was the main character’s relationship issues. His girlfriend becomes very lonely and impatient as he becomes more involved with his story. Although she has a very harsh and extreme reaction, which may not be the norm in this situation, I believe this is something that many journalists could struggle with. I know from just my small experience, following a story can take up much of my time and energy. I can only imagine this conflict of the story is realistic. Another large conflict of the movie was the danger the journalist was put in by covering this story. Obviously not every journalist who covers crime ends up in such a dangerous situation but it is not an impossibility. This movie was very extreme but not completely ridiculous.

  • “The Mean Season” follows Malcolm (Kurt Russell) as he transforms from crime reporter to investigative journalist when the murderer of his story calls him in an attempt to popularize his serial killings. Steve Doig forewarned us that the film dealt with ethics, and I realized further into the film, that it dealt with how to be unethical. While watching “The Mean Season,” I tried to pin-point the moment when Malcolm’s presence in the case led to a conflict of interest. (Spoiler alert) Maybe it was when he became a part of the story? Or perhaps when the murderer kidnaps Malcolm’s girlfriend? Or even when Malcolm killed the murderer he was writing about? Besides the apparent conflict of interest theme, the film was surprisingly and unintentionally hilarious. Faulty sound effects, silly fashion styles and cheesy lines all contributed to proving it was an older movie (1985). At one point, my boyfriend who joined me for the film turned to me and said, “It’s like watching a Looney Tunes episode.”

  • The “Mean Season” really brought to light the dangers of being a reporter. The main character, Malcolm Anderson, is told to go report on a murder of a young girl. After he writes his first story, the murderer comes in contact with Anderson and he becomes overly involved in a twisted murderer’s idea of becoming “noticed”. Although the movie was done in 1985 and portrayed cliche things such as dramatic music, corny one-liners, and “fast” cars, the idea behind the entire movie was well done.
    Even though many journalists and the police force would react much differently today, the movie clearly portrayed the lengths some journalists are willing to go to in order to get the truth, and the harm that can come along with that.

  • “The Mean Season” was a very interesting movie. I think it really showcased the opportunities of investigative journalism and how it impacts society. Although I don’t know how accurate Malcom’s experience was in relation to a current investigative journalist’s job, but it was interesting nonetheless. It was kind of scary and exhilarating, and had some very climactic and suspenseful moments. However, it was also cliché and cheesy at times, especially when Malcom dramatically leaped of the closing bridge and rolled down the other side. It definitely didn’t look convincing.

    I think an important part of journalism, as the movie demonstrates, is the significance in accurate storytelling and good writing. Keeping your identity safe as a journalist can sometimes be challenging, especially as an investigator. But Malcom had to keep his facts straight and not let his emotions get in the way when writing his stories. I don’t think a real reporter would be able to accurately tell a story if it’s, in actuality, about him and his kidnapped girlfriend.

  • The movie that showed last night was, “The Mean Season.” This was a suspensful and compelling film. The movie was filmed at the “Miami Herald” and all of the newsroom shots were filmed in the middle of the night. I think that’s what made this film very realistic because I got a sense of how a newsroom looks on daily basis. I thought it was interesting that the director of the film didn’t know that journalists were that messy having papers stacked up on their desks and scraps on the floor. One scene in particular got my attention about the career of jouranlism and the interviews I will have to preform will sometimes be difficult. When Malcom Anderson was doing the interview with the mother of the teenage girl who was murdred by the water. The mother was on the phone and Anderson went to take a picture of the girl but then realized it wasn’t right because she was just murdered. In that scene I could see that he had a sense of compassion towards the family and didn’t want to invade their privacy. The serial killing story in the movie made huge news in the newspaper and televison because it was unusual news. It was unusual to see a journalist being the center of a serial killer story. This movie actually showed me that journalists do need to be aware of their surrondings in this career. When I was interning at a televsion station in Boise, Idaho my mentor, Natalie Hurst, told me when I become a news anchor or reporter you need to have a file on your work computer of threat emails your receive. She told me this is very important because if you do end up missing or dead the police can find these files on your work computer.

  • As an aspiring crime reporter, Mean Season was a fascinating movie that brought up some very in depth questions on the nature of crime reporting. Malcolm, the main character played by Russel Crowe, was a reporter covering some of the worst murders in Miami, and is burnt out from the grisly stories day after day. But before he moves out of the city, he is caught up into his previous story, as the serial killer begins to call him and tells him he will kill again. Not only does Malcolm begin to report the story, but he is now in the story. The relationship of serial killers and the press displayed in this movie was fascinating to me. On one hand, the press does the community a favor informing them that a killer is on the loose, and to be on their guard. But on the other, the press can become the fame and attention that the killer wants, and thus fuels the obsession.

  • Tonight’s movie, The Mean Season, was a great changeup in the line of movies Cronkite has previously shown. Canadian director, Philip Borsos incorporated suspense, drama and thrill into his 80s film, which kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. The Mean Season is about a Miami police reporter named Malcolm Anderson who is tired of his current job and wants to relocate to Colorado. As he prepares to give his resignation, a crime story is assigned to him. What is thought to be another same-old story develops into a much more complicated situation, giving Malcolm his career-best story. After Malcolm’s initial story is published, the killer, Alan Delour, contacts Malcolm and tells him that there will be four more deaths and wants to use Malcolm as his mouthpiece in order to get attention. Malcolm follows the killer’s orders and reports on the killings. Toward the end, Malcolm begins to get more media attention than Alan, which upsets him. To teach Malcolm a lesson, Alan kidnaps his girlfriend. At this point, the movie turns from an investigative story into a real-life dramatic situation. In the end, Malcolm and the police track down Alan and rescue Malcolm’s girlfriend. However, the suspense continues when the killer “comes back to life” and enters Malcolm’s home. Malcolm resorts to killing Alan as a final act of self-defense, finally putting an end to the harassment. Although this movie is hypothetical and never occurs in the business, it was a good movie to watch for entertainment.

  • This movie was great. It was a combination of suspense, crime, and reporting. Ultimately, this movie exhibited the balance necessary between work and personal life. Working within the media field, whether it is print, investigative reporting, radio, each of these interact with society on a personal level. There are going to be times when work might rub dangerously close to our personal lives. It is important to report news, inform society, of course. But safety is also a key. This movie expressed the caution reporters should take when it comes to investing work time into the home life. Especially in crime investing or reporting, there is a level of caution reporters should take, just like judges or officers take on the job when they are dealing with criminals. Society relies on journalists just as much as these authoritative figures, instilling a sense of trust that they will be accurately and equally informed. Overall, I enjoyed this movie immensely. Although it was a bit dramatic, it brings relevance to the fact that journalists are in the eye of society and frankly, they are watched by everyone.

  • Journalists must always walk a fine line – especially when they become part of the stories they cover. Surprisingly silly, overly-acted and unrealistic, “The Mean Season” felt more like a thriller comedy dressed as a supposedly-compelling drama with values.

    I certainly value the filmmakers’ commitment to capturing the style of the newsroom, and even Kurt Russell preparing for his role by following a reporter – as Steve Doig mentioned in his introduction – but this felt more like a lesson in how to create a preposterous movie than to teach how to act ethically. I was continuously rolling my eyes over the pure stupidity and lack of accountability in this movie, where the reporter becomes the center of the crime spree. Yes, we can all appreciate the work of investigative journalists, and how sometimes they must take risks to obtain information, but the manner in which “Mean Season” presented this form of reporting felt improbable. Sure, I can see a killer communicating with the reporter to share his evil plans, but would we really think someone like Russell’s character would have so carelessly put himself into harm’s way without having backup? One aspect I found compelling was Russell’s disillusionment with covering crime stories, but the film focused more on the real-life conflict between he and the killer instead of his inner-conflict. That would have made for a tenser feature.

    You know you have a problematic film when most of the audience does not really even care if the villain prevails, and when the supposedly-dramatic scenes provoke laughter. Though I found a level of campiness in “Mean Season,” I felt like the film did not center heavily enough on the journalistic ethics that come into play in many reporters’ lives. Had that been the case, perhaps we could forgive the riotous scene of Russell leaping across a bridge to rescue his girlfriend – and many other similarly-laughable moments – but “Mean Season” was just executed poorly. I would have been more interested in listening to/participating in a discussion on ethics related to investigative pieces, as I feel that would have been more productive than watching a cheesy movie like this.

  • Malcolm Anderson, a reporter for the Miami Journal, finds himself reporting on a murder case after going in to quit his job at the paper. After his first article on a murder victim was published, he received a phone call from the killer telling Anderson he will kill five victims. Wanting the fame for the story the killer told Anderson all the gruesome details, with every murder came another phone call until the killer became outraged claiming Anderson was stealing his attention. As this journalist tries to reveal the case he becomes intertwined with the killer and faces problems not only in the work place, but also in his private life. Anderson faces the conflict of his personal life being breached while trying to uncover a story that could be the highlight of his career. Though he faces challenges along the way with not only juggling his personal and work life, he also faces the problem of credibility and objectivity.

  • This movie truly portrays a journalist’s interaction with society on a whole different level. Being a reporter, one must be able to deal with their personal life intertwining with their work life. Thus, reporters should use discretion when investigating a story and interviewing witnesses. Although investigative journalism involves seeking the truth and exposing it, one must maintain a level of cautiousness in order to protect themselves.

    The Mean Season gave a glimpse into what its like to be a journalist and how anything they may write or say can be viewed by anyone. What they write or say can attract attention from the right or wrong people. Overall, this movie had a well thought out plot. It morphed the journalists personal connection to the story with his expectation to be objective when reporting. This movie provides insight on what could happen when one gets closer to their sources than expected.

  • The Mean Season displayed a treacherous turn of journalism. I thought this movie was interesting, but it was intense and terrifying to see how intertwined personal life, professional reporting and a twisted criminal. I enjoyed the movie, but it definitely did not feel as journalistically relevant as the other movies we have watched. The Mean Season was an enjoyable watch with friends, but it also made me fearful of crime reporting. Luckily that is not a field I have ever seriously considered. I do not think this movie provided any legitimate lessons to contribute to writing specifically, but it is intriguing to see how dependent the writer is on the murderer no matter how twisted and personal the story became. To me, the film seemed over dramatized and unrealistic. It made a decent movie, but its credibility was questionable. The whole story with the girlfriend getting kidnapped and found alive and being terrorized again by the killer seemed very overdone to me, and at parts I could not help but laugh at the zaniness of the situation. This movie did convey and document the importance of accurate reporting in delicate situations when so much is at stake.

  • The Mean Season was a very powerful movie when it comes to discussing ethics in journalism. Throughout the entire film the main character is faced with decisions that are very questionable on the ethic standard. For example, when the killer first called Anderson and disclosed that he was going to kill 4 other people, Anderson was faced with the question of going to the police or abiding by the wishes of the killer. As the movie progresses the ethical choices Anderson are faced with become more intense, until finally he is faced with the choice of killing the killer in protection for himself and his girl friend. Another situation where Anderson faced a vital ethics decision was when he went to talk to the man in the trailer about who the killer was. Once Anderson got the story he made the decision to print the story without checking the facts, which proved to be a major problem. This was a great learning lesson for us first year journalism students because it showed just how important it is to have accurate stories and to think about all of the possible affects when dealing with an ethical situation.

  • I had never seen “The Mean Season” before, so I didn’t know what to expect. The killer in the movie was really creepy. I thought it was interesting that the movie showed the relationship between a journalist and a source. This was an example if a very extreme relationship, but still a relationship. The movie made you think how far is too far to go with a source. What should Malcolm Anderson have done? I don’t know what I would have done in that situation because you want the story, but I would not want a killer contacting me. The movie also illustrated when the journalist is no longer just a journalist. The journalist is a part of the story. Malcolm Anderson went on TV talking about the incident, which garnered more media attention not only to the case but him. The movie shows a lot of ethical situations that a journalist could face. Now, we as journalists have to decide how we would handle situations like that.

  • Wednesday night marked the 4th movie night in the First Amendment Forum at the Cronkite School. Professor Steve Doig opened up the movie with a bit of background on “The Mean Season,” starring Kurt Russell and how the movie had a connection to him. Professor Doig worked at the Miami Herald during the filming of this movie; where his newsroom was the one that was used to shoot in. The point of the movie was about the ethics involved.
    Kurt Russell plays a reporter in the movie which starts out immediately with a murder. Malcom Anderson (Russell) is then immediately given the story. He investigates and writes it then he gets a mysterious call from the killer. The plot then takes us on a whirlwind ride though the killers next few killings and his interactions with Malcom Anderson. The movie shows the power of the press and how important it is. It also shows how important ethics are. The main character doesn’t do this for personal gain but because it’s his job; also, in hopes to catch the killer and aid the police. It eventually leads to the police finding out who the man is and taking him down.

  • Maybe it was that Mariel Hemingway’s acting was less than convincing, maybe it was that the movie scared me, but I did not enjoy Wednesday’s movie. Kurt Russell’s acting was not bad, and I understand that it was chosen because of its question of ethics and how involved is too involved to get with a story. In this movie, Malcolm writes a story about a murder and is then contacted multiple times by the murderer. Their stories become interconnected and Malcolm becomes a major part of his own story. However, I think if the school wanted to show a movie that posed this question of ethics and involvement, they could have chosen Runaway Bride and been more effective. Besides the fact that it scared me, I just did not take much from this movie. I think it could have been better chosen.

  • The thing that has always drawn me to journalism is the sense of adventure and danger that comes with it. I think of a journalist I think of Anderson Cooper in a bullet proof vest bumping along in the back of a Hummer in Afghanistan, Marie Colvin risking life and limb to get the story out, Wolf Blitzer in a showdown with a crooked politician. I never think of the repercussions a life style such as this could have on someone’s mental state. I never think about what a life of exposing corruption and reporting the horrors of the real world would cause your outlook to be like. The movie ‘The Mean Season’ tells the story of a burnt out journalist exhausted by the his constant coverage of murder in Miami. Honestly, I wasn’t too crazy about the movie. I thought it was melodramatic, and the most exciting part was the fact that Ernest Hemmingway’s granddaughter played the love interest/obligatory damsel in distress. What I did appreciate about the movie was that it shows that being a journalist is not as rewarding as it looks. Sure, you’re exposing the criminals and bringing about justice, but when does the criminality stop? It seems like a never ending cycle of destruction. Some of the most intriguing parts (at least for me) took place in the offices of the Miami Herald where the main character, Malcolm Anderson works. This provided us with a look at the dirty, disorganized, competitive side of what goes on behind the paper. Although the movie itself was less than stellar, I can appreciate the effort behind it.

  • Monday’s movie was exciting and eye opening. The idea of being on such an investigative case seems like so much fun, however, the death threats and violent murders were heart breaking. It also shows how much journalism really impacts a persons life. The main character was only in paper and it nearly killed him and his girl friend. It also screwed up his mairrage. That kinda life is a hard one for both reporter and their family. I imagine tv broadcasting will be even worse. Things have to be ABSOLUTELY perfect since most people watch tv rather than read the news. Also, there are some creepy people out there who will stalk you or, like the movie, single you out as their contact. It can e a scary career, but it’s one I look forward to. Also, I plan on being behind he scenes, so while the strain on my family may be a little worse, the crazy fans won’t.

  • “The Mean Season” was kind of a twisted movie. While I doubt that anything like this would happen in today’s society, it was interesting to see how the reporter acted. I think that the movie portrayed reporters in a positive light. We always try to do the best we can because we want to help people and get the story out.
    The plot line was very interesting; I have never seen anything like this before. While it was brave of Kurt Russell to talk to the murderer, I don’t know if it was the smart thing to do. I think that the reporters should have stayed out of the direct business. While they ran the story to sell papers, they should have just used the information to help the police and not have published the story. It seems like a violation of the right to privacy because they were reporting about the murders before they happened. All the other reporters also invaded Kurt Russel’s privacy because they kept trying to interview him about what the murderer might look like and why he was being contacted.
    This movie brings up a valid point about where the privacy laws stop. Kurt Russell was constantly attacked by reporters whom he thought were his friends. Reporters are always all over someone who has just lost a loved one, trying to capture the most grief as possible. Reporters should never be that intimidating and rude. Wait a couple of days so that the family can process what happened and then interview them. Or better yet, wait until they issue a statement. If we didn’t act so much like flies on horse manure, we might have a better reputation.

  • Tonight for “Cronkite night at the Movies” we watched “The Mean Season.” The movie was about a newspaper reporter who covers a story about a young woman who was murdered. Through no fault of his own he gets entangled into the story he was covering. I really enjoyed this movie because it was entertaining and although I know this is a very “Hollywood” movie, I felt like there were a lot of aspects that portrayed the reality of the journalism profession. Some of the aspects displayed were the relationships that the newspaper business it has to maintain, such as with the police department. There were scenes where the people at the newspaper had to finesse their way around the police department or have to deal with them directly, I can only assume that this aspect of the job is crucial to getting accurate information.
    Also, it is within the realm of possibilities that a reporter could be the target of possible harm if the “bad guy” felt it necessary to silence the story. It does not seem to be a common occurrence but again, it is something that could happen. Reporters are put out there as public figures some times and that could be potentially dangerous. I have yet to be disappointed in the movies selected for the “Cronkite Night at the Movies” and I hope that good streak continues next week and beyond.

  • Only one word can truly describe the premise of “The Mean Season” that word being ethics. The main character of this film completely lost hi sense of morality and ethics in taking advice and leads from a murderer, as opposed to actually turning in the murderer to the proper authorities, and for what? A lead, and a story. The main character of this film defiled the name of journalism, by allowing a mass of people to be harmed, when the in fact journalism (and the spread of information in general) is ultimately for the betterment of readers, and all of humanity. Furthermore by going along with such actions the journalist put himself and his closest loved one in danger, thus proving that ethics is one of the main, and undeniable factors that one should keep in mind when handling journalistic material. Ultimately this film helped to highlight the dangers at stake, and the precautions one should take as they pursue a journalistic career.

  • “The Mean Season” could use some mean seasoning. I understand this movie was from the eighties, and being a product of the late seventies myself, I hold most things in the eighties with some fondness. I also understand I should take from this a journalistic lesson regarding the ethics of getting involved with a story, but when Kurt Russell acts beyond his range of Captain Ron then I am bored beyond discontent. Kurt Russell needs to pepper up this movie with some witty humor to make up for the annoying Mariel Hemingway. Speaking of which, just because someone is related to a great writer should not get you a ticket into Hollywood. I kept praying the killer would kidnap Miss Hemingway and when he actually did it was an epic fail because she managed to escape under the salty Captain Ron’s guidance and heroism. I learned it probably isn’t a good idea to curry favor with a killer. I did learn some sage advice from this movie, like don’t play with killers and always check the facts of interviews and stories. It became quite obvious that becoming involved in your own story, not checking facts and verifying interviews can put a writer into quite a pickle. Ultimately, Kurt smokes the killer jerk style in a drawn out method of should I/shouldn’t I pull the trigger that plays out too dramatically. On the upside, I am glad I went to see this relic of 1985. I did not miss out on the variety of seasonings for fresh popped corn. Make sure not to miss the chile and lime pairing for the hot popcorn next movie night if you want my advice. It is the best for any genre of movie that might just be showing.

  • This weeks Cronkite movie of choice was “The Mean Season” starring Kurt Russell looking much younger. The cheese aside, the movie taught us that getting too involved in your investigations can be a bad thing. In the subject of journalism, you could clearly tell that this newspaper that Kurt Russell’s character, Malcolm Anderson, worked for cared more about writing a good story than saving innocent people. They would have cut of the conversations between the killer and Anderson if they truly cared about the well-being of their readers. Instead they treated the murder victims and their family members as pieces news and not human beings; for example, the very first scene showed the photographer getting a shot of the murder victim’s mother breaking down during a phone call and stole a picture of her daughter. It was also very interesting to watch Hollywood’s rendition of how a newspaper really runs. I don’t believe that a journalist would actually be able to walk crime scenes and be able to take pictures as easily as they did in the movie. Also, I would like to think that a newspaper in real life would not entertain a killer’s plea for attention, and call the police instead.

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