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

by Rick Goldsmith

A piercing look at censorship and suppression in the news media

Narrated by Susan Sarandon. Seldes's written words read by Edward Asner. The Academy-Award-nominated Tell The Truth and Run, is the dramatic story of muckraking journalist George Seldes, and a piercing look at censorship and suppression in America's news media.

Eighty years a newspaperman, Seldes was a noted foreign correspondent who became America's most important press critic. Through Seldes's encounters with Pershing, Lenin and Mussolini; the tobacco industry, J. Edgar Hoover and the "lords of the press," Tell The Truth and Run raises profound ethical, professional and political questions about journalism in America. Seldes at age 98 is the centerpiece of the film: remarkably engaging, witty and still impassioned about his ideas and ideals. Ralph Nader, Victor Navasky, Ben Bagdikian, Daniel Ellsberg, Nat Hentoff and Jeff Cohen, among others, provide incisive commentary. Stunning archival footage and over 500 headlines, photographs and articles provide a rich historical backdrop.

Tell The Truth and Run raises fundamental questions about the recorded history of the Twentieth Century; about freedom, fairness and diversity in the media; about power and abuse of power; and about public citizenship and the democratic process.

Tell The Truth and Run is an ideal film for students. It is divided into chapters of 6-10 minutes each, and each chapter addresses one or more themes that will stimulate thought and discussion. Subject matter and themes include: * World War I and the role of the war correspondent * America's press and the rise of European fascism * "The most sacred cow of the press is the press itself." * Who chooses the news-- and why * The press and McCarthyism * The growth and dangers of media monopoly.


quoteThis absorbing film brings to life not only an exceptional journalist, but the saga of journalism in America. It is buttressed by meticulous editorial research and film research.
Daniel Schorr
Senior News Analyst, National Public Radio

quoteA timely introduction into the era of revolutions, fascism, witchhunts and journalistic coverups....It is essential education for all students and scholars of journalism and political life.
George Gerbner, Dean Emeritus
Annenberg School for Communication

quoteThere is no better beginning or end point for media ethics than the life and times of George Seldes, which are beautifully captured and analyzed in Tell the Truth and Run.
Everette Dennis
The Freedom Forum

quoteA magnetic, entrancing, inspiring film... reveals a history of our times unknown to most Americans. At the same time delightful to watch and a powerful educational experience. I wish every young person in America could see it.
Howard Zinn
Historian, Boston University

quoteGeorge Seldes was determined, in the best American tradition, to shake up the establishment, and 'Tell the Truth and Run' draws a strong and endearing portrait of this stormy petrel of American journalism.
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

More Reviews


  • 1996 Academy Award nominee, Best Documentary Feature
  • John O'Connor Film Award, American Historical Association
  • Golden Spire, San Francisco International Film Festival
  • Gold Apple, National Educational Media Network
  • Best of Festival, Northwest Documentary Film Festival
  • Human Rights Watch International Film Festival
  • Denver International Film Festival
  • San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
  • Vancouver International Film Festival

Visit the official website for Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press

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

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Appropriate for: High School College/University

Special Features:

DVD special features: director's commentary, chapters, closed captioning

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