By Paul Gillin | December 21, 2012 - 12:28 pm - Posted in Journalism, Newspapers

Physician and award-winning documentary filmmaker Ben Daitz (now there’s a combination you don’t see too often) Has been keeping us up-to-date on his latest project, a documentary that celebrates small-town newspapers. We haven’t had a chance to watch the whole film yet, but we like the trailer. Ben writes that the film has had “very successful screenings at festivals and J-schools and will be shown at the Newseum” in Washington.

Here’s a description. You can order a copy for $29.95 at New Deal Films.

Smithsonian Magazine once asked the rhetorical question, “Can a weekly paper in rural New Mexico raise enough hell to keep its readers hungry for more, week after week?”

The Rio Grande Sun, published in Española, NM, is considered one of the best weekly newspapers in the country. Bob Trapp, the Sun‘s founder, editor, and publisher, is the quintessential newspaperman—the last of a vanishing breed—a scrupulously honest, fearless, independent journalist, and a mentor to generations of young reporters.

The Sun is known for investigative reporting. The paper broke the story that its own rural community had the highest per capita heroin overdose rate in the country. It has led the fight for open records and open meetings in a county where political shenanigans are the rule.

The film follows the Sun’s
 reporters and editors as they write about the 
news, sports, arts and cultures of a 
large rural county.  John Burnett, a
 National Public Radio correspondent,
 reports on the Sun‘s Police Blotter—“the
 best in the country.” The Sun‘s 
journalists investigate the largest
 embezzlement in the state’s history, and the 
widespread use of tranquilizers in the county jail.

“The Sun Never Sets” is narrated by Bob Edwards, National Radio Hall of Fame and Peabody award-winning news anchor and radio host. It is an official selection of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and the Ojai Film Festival, and will be screened at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

 

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