Many Americans hold a slightly negative view of reporters, and consider them a necessary evil. At their worst, reporters print, broadcast or post sensationalist fare that's more like gossipy entertainment than actual news. But at their best, they play an invaluable role in our democracy by speaking truth to power and untangling complex political and social issues for the public.

Lately, with the old-style, hard-news infrastructure of print newspapers giving way to the fast-and-loose, accountability-free frontier of the blogosphere, the future of the best type of American journalism has never been in more doubt.

"State of Play" explores the conflict between the old ways of print and the new ways of the Internet, and asks whether the press can still play a relevant role in an America in which corporations seem to run both the government and the media agencies that report on it.

Russell Crowe ("Body of Lies") stars as Cal McAffrey, a hard-bitten print reporter for The Globe, a prominent-but-struggling D.C. daily. McAffrey borders on clich

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