In the wake of the release of the Hollywood adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s first novel of the best-selling Millennium trilogy, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the Columbia Journalism Review has taken a look at what the series exposes and accurately highlights about journalism — its fundamentals, struggles, and realities.  

In the wake of the release of Hollywood's adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s first novel of the best-selling Millennium trilogy, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the Columbia Journalism Review has taken a look at what the series exposes and accurately highlights about journalism — its fundamentals, struggles, and realities.  As the CJR says:

…What make the trilogy so valuable to the cause of journalism are the things it gets right. Over the course of more than 1,750 pages, its author captures a remarkable number of the challenges that doing honest journalism involves, as well as the reasons it matters whether people keep doing it. This is significant, given the profession’s apparent inability to make a compelling case for itself, at least in the eyes of the readers, viewers, and listeners who do not appear to be concerning themselves terribly much with its rapid disappearance.

This is despite the fact that the series’ hero, Mikael Blomkvist, is an utterly unrealistic character, in so much that he just happens to find himself in partnership with Lisbeth Salander – a girl with a photographic memory and world-class computer hacking skills (as well as the titled dragon tattoo) — that “[makes] it possible for Blomkvist to become privy to all sorts of secrets that would elude a mere mortal journalist,” says the CJR.

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Aside from this, CJR highlights a number of things that Larsson did right: Erika Berger’s issuance of journalists’ credo, and her and Blomkvist’s struggle with every-day journalistic ethical dilemmas; the cynicism existent in newsrooms; and perhaps most relevant to the state of journalism now, the financial reality for publications in terms of money spent versus the societal value of a story.

Read the whole CJR article here.