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Hey Corporate Media, This Film With Glenn Greenwald Can Teach You What Real Journalism Is

  • Fantastic mini-documentary about IF Stone, one of the greatest journalists ever, discusses everything corporate media is doing wrong.
  • Features Glenn Greenwald, Michael Moore, Jeremy Scahill.  

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

This is a really important film because it gets to the heart of Russia Insider's complaint against the corporate media.  

Instead of questioning and being skeptical of what US and EU governments are writing about Russia, they are cheerleading preposterous, neocon, militarist policies, reporting with extreme bias, and basically repeating the same awful, amoral journalistic malpractice that got us into the Vietnam war, the Iraq war, and dozens of other foreign policy and humanitarian disasters.

<figcaption>"If something goes wrong with our free press, the country will go straight to hell." — I.F. Stone</figcaption>
"If something goes wrong with our free press, the country will go straight to hell." — I.F. Stone

We are choosing our words carefully when we say that we think the corporate media's behavior is a moral disgrace and criminally negligent, and we think a lot of Iraqis, Vietnamese, Serbs, Gautemalan peasants, and countless others would agree with us.  

Not to mention a bunch of bombed out pensioners and kindergarden kids in East Ukraine.

This time it will be corporate media's Waterloo, because a giant sea of alternative media is pushing back.  

It won't fly this time.

The Intercept, Greenwald's ground-breaking new investigative news company has an excellent piece about the film urging people to watch it.  

We heartily concur.

I.F. Stone was arguably the greatest investigative journalist of the last 100 years, the “Patron Saint of Bloggers” and one of the main inspirations of “Unofficial Sources.” If you already know and love Stone, check out parts one (above) and two (below) of a new video, “The Legacy of I.F. Stone.”

If you don’t know Stone but want to find out why he’s so beloved, the videos describe his approach and some of his accomplishments. They also feature Michael Moore, Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill explaining whythey love him.

Most important is Stone’s bedrock principle: reporters should start from the presumption that powerful institutions are lying, rather than the presumption that they’re telling the truth.

Moore — who before he started making movies ran “Moore’s Weekly,” an homage to Stone’s one-man magazine, “I.F. Stone’s Weekly” — says this:

What his “Weekly” taught me was that it didn’t need to be fancy, it didn’t need to have a lot of production value. It just needed to tell the truth, and tell me things that I’m not going to learn anyplace else …

His great motto [was] “All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed,” [but] he said to me, “I would expand that now to governments, corporations, it’s not just the government, it’s anybody in power.”

And here’s Stone’s own description of what he did:

(This is what we are trying to do at Russia Insider) - editors

I made no claim to inside stuff … I tried to give information which could be documented so the reader could check it for himself.

I tried to dig the truth out of hearings, official transcripts and government documents, and to be as accurate as possible.

I also sought to give the Weekly a personal flavor, to add humor, wit and good writing to the Weekly report.

I felt that if one were able enough and had sufficient vision one could distill meaning, truth and even beauty from the swiftly flowing debris of the week’s news … the bit of dialogue, the overlooked fact, the buried observation which illuminated the realities of the situation. 

I tried in every issue to provide fact and opinion not available elsewhere in the press.

So watch the videos, and then visit and read his writing — including 18 years of “I.F. Stone’s Weekly.” And if you’re especially inspired, apply to come work with us here at The Intercept.

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