Lou Grant: Cheesy But Has Relevant Points

Lou Grant (Ed Asner) is a journalist who becomes the city editor of the fictitious Los Angeles Tribune during the late 70’s to early 80’s. The series has 114 episodes of hour long dramas that take you through the ups and downs of being a journalist while also teaching you the fundamentals of many situations that current journalists still go through today.

Lou Grant Cast, photo can be found here.

Lou Grant Cast, photo can be found here.

The first episode, “Cophouse,” was more an introduction to the series, providing comic relief and an intriguing story on how to cover delicate situations. One of the funny moments with Lou was when he would copy down people’s names (a habit that every journalist should have), because you never know when a story is going to pop up and who will be your best source. It is good to have a wide network of reliable sources rather than having to depend on tipsters.

The second episode, “Hostages,” deals a lot with the morals of journalistic writing, no matter what kind of writing it is, and how it may effect your readership and audience. Not everyone will like or dislike everything you write, you just have to be able to handle criticism and think critically about what you write.

When the publisher at the end, Ms. Pynchon, decides not to run the news story of their being held hostage for 16 hours on the front page, I thought, “Oh here she goes again.” But, I learned after her explanation, that a lot of what she was saying about not wanting anyone with a gun to influence her newspaper, was correct. There are many facets to journalism that, especially when you are excited about a story like Lou, you will not see until someone points it out to you. This is why we have to be wary, honest and ethical in what we do because journalism is a very fine tight rope we all walk as writers.

Overall, Lou Grant, although quite outdated technology wise in this tech savvy world, still holds true when it comes to the habits, morals and general life lessons it teaches throughout the series. A journalist cannot forget the basics, otherwise they will forget who they are, just as in the first episode, with the lost journalist who “thought he was a cop.” In the end, if you learn from your mistakes, you will grow to be a stronger writer, reporter and overall better person.

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