Academic journal article Journalism History

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

Academic journal article Journalism History

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

Article excerpt

"Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Pre. Hohokus, NJ: New Day Films, 1996, 1:51.

Anyone interested in journalism or general media studies must see this film. George Seldes spent more than eighty years exposing corr tion at all levels, in and out of government, and never compromised his principles. A prime target throughout his career were the media themselves, which often placed advertising needs above editorial responsibilities. As this two-hour film clearly shows, Seldes is the archetype of all media critics.

"Tell the Truth and Run" is the work of Berkeley, California, producer Rick Goldsmith and is his first attempt at a feature-length documentary. The film on Seldes won him an Academy Award nomination in 1997. Goldsmith got the idea for the program after hearing Seldes speak on a 1988 National Public Radio program. In 1989, Goldsmith went to Heartland, Vermont, and spent three days interviewing Seldes, then ninety-eight years old. Seldes died six years later.

Goldsmith ably demonstrates his editing and production skills in weaving more than 500 news headlines and still photos around the Seldes interviews. Seldes, known as a veteran muckraker, began as a foreign correspondent during the Russian revolution. The viewer sees rare film clips of Lenin while Seldes describes his expulsion from the then-young Soviet Union. Later in his life, Seldes escaped death at the hands of Mussolini's goon squads, and this, too, is dramatically portrayed.

The documentary employs the talents of actor Ed Asner as the voice for selected articles and book passages written by Seldes. …

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