Press tells the story of two competing British newspapers – one a screaming tabloid and one more dedicated to old-fashioned journalism and truth telling. It began on the BBC. In America it became a series on PBS Masterpiece. It’s now available on Prime Video. Although the setting is in England, the issues around honest reporting apply to news organizations in any spot on the globe.
Press stars Charlotte Riley as Holly Evans, an editor for “The Herald.” Opposite her is the editor of “The Post,” Duncan Allen (Ben Chaplin). Like the newspapers they work for, these two represent opposite approaches to journalism.
Holly does the work, finds the facts, checks her sources. She has guts and integrity. Duncan does what is expedient, steals leads, isn’t too interested in what’s right. They work in buildings directly across the street from each other and interact frequently.
Other important characters include Amina Chaudury (Priyanga Burford) as the managing editor of “The Herald.” James Edwards (Al Weaver) works with her and Holly.
Ed Washburn (Paapa Essiedu) is an ambitious young reporter for “The Post.” He’s not above stealing stories and leads and taking credit for the ideas once the story is published.
I once fancied myself a journalist and was a journalism major in college for some time. I found this six episode series fascinating. You don’t have to be a journalism buff to understand the thematic battle between truth and greed that this series exemplifies so well.
Things are even harder for print newspapers than they were in 2018 when this series was released. The world of fact finding and investigative reporting is very different now. But the need for honest reporting and meaningful story choices is as real as ever. If you enjoy serious storytelling, I think you’ll find this series rewarding to watch.