Breaking the News Tribeca Film Review

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Gripping Documentary “Breaking the News” Sheds Light on Journalistic Challenges

The world has undergone significant changes since the global pandemic in 2020, affecting various aspects of our lives. As we have adapted to online learning and digital media consumption, we have been exposed to a wealth of information like never before. From racial profiling incidents leading to unjust murders to political insurrections, we now have access to news and events that were previously hidden. However, with this information explosion comes the challenge of misinformation. In response to these issues, journalists and newsrooms are fighting back, shedding light on underrepresented communities. One such example is the documentary “Breaking the News,” which explores the formation of The 19th, a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to addressing these challenges.

The Birth of The 19th: A Nonprofit News Agency

Emily Ramshaw, a journalist, recognized the opportunity to create The 19th when Donald Trump was inaugurated as President. Named after the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, The 19th became the first nonprofit, nonpartisan news agency in the United States. Focusing on stories related to women in politics, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community, The 19th aimed to provide coverage that was previously lacking in the mainstream media. However, just as the news site was set to launch, the pandemic struck, posing additional challenges for Emily Ramshaw and co-founder Amanda Zamora.

Unveiling The Struggles: Launching The 19th in a Divided America

“Breaking the News” chronicles the journey of these women and LGBTQ+ journalists as they navigate the turbulent landscape of “fake news” and a divided America. Through this gripping documentary, we witness the challenges faced by journalists in determining which stories are worth covering and how to engage readers with unique perspectives. It becomes evident that the lack of representation in the journalism industry contributes to the absence of coverage on issues affecting members of the LGBTQ+ community and people of color.

Kate Sosin, a writer for The 19th, offers a fascinating perspective in the film. Having worked for other publishers in the past, Sosin reflects on the importance of feeling welcome at The 19th. However, she also highlights the limitations that trans individuals face in workplace environments. Sosin’s viewpoint adds depth to the documentary, emphasizing that even publications like The 19th have room for improvement.

Another influential figure in The 19th is editor Errin Haines, who played a crucial role in covering the tragic story of Breonna Taylor during the Black Lives Matter movement. Haines’ in-depth reporting shed light on the shocking incident where a Black woman was killed in her own apartment by police officers. The documentary showcases the process of getting that story published, the impact it had on the nation, and how it opens a dialogue on the desensitization to such accounts of injustice.

A Realistic Portrayal of Journalistic Challenges

“Breaking the News” masterfully captures the stress and pressure that journalists face when crafting stories. Intimate moments, like the staff watching the presidential debate between Trump and Joe Biden, take the audience back in time. These scenes provide a glimpse into the day-to-day life of writers, dispelling the misconception that their work is effortless. The film’s directors, Heather Courtney, Chelsea Hernandez, and Princess A. Hairston, skillfully immerse viewers in the journalists’ experiences, fostering a deeper connection to their endeavors.

Inspiring Change: Paving the Way for a Better Future

The dedication of passionate journalists in “Breaking the News” is truly inspiring. These individuals, sometimes even balancing their careers and parenting responsibilities, risk their livelihoods to build a platform that welcomes future writers with open arms. The 19th, along with its co-founder Emily Ramshaw, editor-in-chief Julia B. Chan, Kate Sosin, and Errin Haines, are trailblazers who seek to bring fresh perspectives to issues that are often overlooked by mainstream media outlets.


“Breaking the News” offers a compelling portrayal of the challenges faced by journalists in today’s rapidly evolving media landscape. Through the lens of The 19th, the documentary highlights the importance of representation and diverse perspectives in journalism. As we navigate a world flooded with information and misinformation, initiatives like The 19th serve as beacons of hope, striving to break through barriers and provide an inclusive platform for underrepresented communities.


1. What is Breaking the News?

Breaking the News is a gripping documentary that delves into the challenges faced by journalists in fighting for accurate and inclusive news coverage.

2. What is the significance of The 19th?

The 19th is the first nonprofit, nonpartisan news agency in the United States, focusing on stories related to women in politics, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community.

3. How does Breaking the News address the issue of representation in journalism?

The documentary sheds light on the lack of representation in the journalism industry and the limited perspectives covered in mainstream media outlets.

4. Who are some key figures featured in Breaking the News?

Key figures in the documentary include Emily Ramshaw, co-founder of The 19th, and journalists Kate Sosin and Errin Haines, who played significant roles in covering stories related to underrepresented communities.

5. What is the impact of Breaking the News?

Breaking the News provides insight into the challenges journalists face and inspires conversations about the importance of accurate and inclusive news coverage, paving the way for a more equitable future.