Your Wednesday news headlines: People, not plot devices; Worst Media Company voting; new true-crime podcast

GETTING IT WRONG

Former Knight Ridder journalist and Poynter.org editor Bill Mitchell has a question for Hollywood: Where did you get the idea it was OK to misuse real people as narrative props?

Mitchell takes issue with "The Front Runner," a fictionalized account of the failed 1988 Gary Hart presidential campaign that the Miami Herald torpedoed in 1987 by exposing the candidate's extramarital relationship. Mitchell's friend Tom Fiedler is portrayed inaccurately as a slovenly, bumbling reporter, Mitchell writes, when in reality he was meticulous, award-winning journalist who now serves as dean of a prestigious journalism school. 

While the movie does ask interesting and probing questions about the wisdom of journalists' digging into the private lives of politicians, it takes too many liberties, as "Spotlight" did before it, turning real people into plot devices.

Read his takeaway here, and let us know if you or any of your journo friends have been portrayed on film — well or poorly — at info@poynter.org.

YOUTHFUL MISTRUST?

A new survey out this morning from the Knight Foundation reveals that while high school students report having strong First Amendment support, they have low levels of trust in the media. "The national study of 9,774 high school students and 498 teachers is the eighth in a series of national surveys of high school students and teachers commissioned by Knight Foundation over the last 12 years," according to a release. "This year’s survey incorporated several questions from Gallup’s Free Expression on Campus survey of college students, released in 2018, in order to compare the two surveys."

There's also information on youth news consumption that reveals significant drops in youth viewership of local news and cable TV. Click here to download the entire report.

JUST THE WORST

Tonight in New York City are the third annual Deadspin Awards, "the awards show for people who are too cool to like the ESPYS." Categories include Best Tennis Meltdown, Worst Coach, Best Scandal and Worst Media Company. Voting ends today at 5 p.m.

POPULARITY CONTEST

Fox News was the most tweeted about news outlet in 2018, and Sean Hannity is the most tweeted about reporter/host. Twitter’s year-end data found that CNN/Jake Tapper were the second most tweeted about, followed by The Hill/Joe Concha, MSNBC/Kyle Griffin and The New York Times/Maggie Haberman. Media organizations didn’t make the cut for the three most liked tweets of 2018, which include a kid dancing next to a car with an open door, President Barack Obama sharing his support for student activists following the Parkland shootings and a dog receiving superfluous ear medicine. Oh, Twitter.

TOP MEDIA TWITTER ACCOUNTS
Via Twitter

THE LISTEN

Always on the lookout for the next great true-crime podcast? We have our fingers crossed on this one, though we already know how it ends — the mystery comes before a family of eight ended up dead. On Tuesday, Glamour and iHeartMedia, in cooperation with HowStuffWorks.com, launched "Broken Harts," a deep look at  Sarah and Jennifer Hart and their six adopted children, who died in what appears to have been a murder-suicide in California. New episodes air every Tuesday.

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