Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press

Article excerpt

New Day Films (1996). Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press. 22-D Hollywood Ave., Ho-HoKus, N.J., 07423.111 minutes. Rental $89, sale $284. Phone: 201-652-6590.

Tell the Truth and Run, both an autobiography and a tribute to George Seldes, provides journalists with a powerful look at 20th century journalism history through a collection of headlines, photographs, articles, archival film clips, and interviews beginning in 1909 and running to almostcurrent events.

Through Seldes' encounters with Gen. Pershing and Mussolini, the tobacco industry, and the press giants of the 1920s and 1930s, Susan Sarandon and Ed Asner narrate a video that could be used in any journalism class-from media ethics to the obvious, history of journalism.

Beginning at the time of the muckrakers, Seldes sets the tone for the video by referring to his time as the prostitution of the press. The feature-length film, running 111 minutes, is broken into segments (or chapters) chronicling his view of press history.

Seldes lived up to high press ideals following a strong commitment to principle instilled by his father. "Question everything. Never compromise on your principles," was the motto followed by Seldes.

In the segment, "The War for Peace," written about World War I, Seldes encountered Pershing while working as a war correspondent putting out public relations for the U.S. Army. …