Vice News is a documentary, television series created and hosted by Shane Smith of Vice magazine. Like the magazine, which focuses on the exploration of arts, culture and various other news topics, the documentary has a similar role in its creation. The show is executively produced by Bill Maher, Shane Smith and Eddy Moretti. The show’s consultant is CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
Using of an immersionist style of documentary filmmaking, Vice create an entirely new experience for watching documentaries. The show originally debuted in April 2015, and has since been renewed for an additional two seasons by HBO. The third season began on March 6th of this year. The fourth season is set to begin in 2016, likely in April.
The show has received a mixture of positive and negative reviews, mostly due to its unique mixture of journalism and television entertainment. Rolling Stone magazine wrote that “It feels a little like your buddy from the bar just happened to be wandering through eastern Afghanistan with a camera crew.”
During its first season, the hosts of Vice were criticized for using their knee-jerk stunts to elicit a larger fan base. Their credibility was drawn into question, as was their style and brand of journalism. Their exploitation of the North Koreans was especially criticized, as was their stunt with sending Dennis Rodman as an American ambassador overseas.
Initially, Vice brushed off these criticisms, but seemed to take them to heart if their season two premiered episodes were anything to go by, focusing more on the journalistic approach than the shock-and-awe factors from the previous season. Vice vowed to remain true to their journalistic roots and produce material of more quality substance than earlier.
Instead of season one’s collection of humorous stunts, season two opening with executive producer Shane Smith investigating the billions of taxpayer dollars that America has thrown at the reconstruction of the war-ravaged Afghanistan. Vice has revamped their image and doubled their efforts to bring actual news to their audiences, and not just glamorous pictures and funny stories.
It was only three years ago that Vice were in a verbal confrontation with The New York Times, who called out Vice and company for being sensationalist journalists at best. David Carr had had enough when the guys from Vice—literal nobodies at the time—said their small venture into journalism was better at uncovering stories than anything anyone else had done. In that moment of arrogance, the boys from Vice were put into their places and shown what real journalism is. But since then, Vice has grown up some, becoming a more reputable crew of journalists and reporters.
With the continuous growth of the show, and the crewmembers taking on a more serious approach to journalism than before, many who initially supported Vice are questioning its credibility as hipster journalists. Despite their change towards a more serious, less prankster approach towards reporting serious topics across the globe, Vice and company have not lost the essence of what originally made them hipster journalists. In their daily professional careers, there’s still off-the-handle remarks, the occasional swear while on air, and most definitely the old and familiar brutal honesty of the hosts. Click right here to find more home entertainment opportunities on the Internet.