‘Endangered’ Review: When Journalism Becomes Imperiled – The New York Times

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A new documentary from Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady explores threats to press freedom, but not with the focus this global issue deserves.
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Shot in 2020 and 2021, “Endangered,” the latest documentary from Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (“Detropia”), explores a variety of threats to the freedom of the press across three countries.
In Brazil, the writer Patrícia Campos Mello became the target of a barrage of sexist attacks — in one news clip President Jair Bolsonaro implies she was willing to trade sex for a scoop — after she reported on a disinformation campaign during the 2018 presidential election cycle. Campos Mello successfully sued the president and his son Eduardo Bolsonaro, also a politician, for “moral damages.”
In Mexico, where, a title card says, more than 100 journalists have been murdered since 2000, the photographer Sáshenka Gutiérrez risks her safety to document protests against what critics see as an insufficient government response to a rise in femicides — girls and women being killed because of their gender.
In the United States, Carl Juste, a longtime photojournalist for The Miami Herald, shoots the area’s George Floyd protests; he speaks about his father, who introduced him to journalism, and wonders if his own career is coming to a close. The British reporter Oliver Laughland documents the 2020 presidential campaign for The Guardian and encounters distrust for the news media from Trump supporters. There are also brief sections that concern the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization based in New York.
“Endangered” spreads itself thin over 90 minutes, leaving even basic points, such as what laws protect journalists in Brazil and Mexico, mostly unaddressed. Covered in isolation, any of these interview subjects, or any of the problems facing journalists raised — online harassment, police intimidation, hedge fund ownership of newspapers, news deserts — might have made for a more detailed and compelling film.
Endangered
Not rated. In English, Portuguese and Spanish, with subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes. Watch on HBO platforms.
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