The real challenge here might perhaps have been the opposite : Finding a positive manner to depict the prurient existence of a more-than-sleazy photo journalist - The very term 'journalist' being unusually hyperbolic here, as the main character is no more than a man with a camera, selling footage of black and hispanic-looking criminals victimizing white middle-class citizens.
Showing him off as a cynical opportunist seems as the most obvious road to take.
Besides, I couldn't really shake the feeling that tracked-down superstar Gyllenhaal might have derived a certain pleasure from portraying this particularly disreputable photographer.
Apart from all of the above, the film was really not bad at all!
It has the same mesmerizing quality to it as 'Drive', and it definitely has a point to make about today's society.
Plus, it's exciting!