Thursday September 08, 2016

All Governments Lie documentary takes aim at mainstream media

Independent media are more trustworthy than corporate mainstream media because they're not motivated by profit or advertisers, says journalist Amy Goodman.

Independent media are more trustworthy than corporate mainstream media because they're not motivated by profit or advertisers, says journalist Amy Goodman. (White Pine Pictures)

Listen 23:56

Read story transcript

"All governments lie" was the mantra of investigative journalist I.F. Stone.  It's also the title of a new documentary film premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival.

From the '50s to the '70s, Stone worked to reveal government and corporate deception in his weekly newsletter.

Democracy Now host, Amy Goodman, who appears in the documentary tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti how the media is failing the public.

"The three words that are the title of this documentary, 'All Governments Lie,' are the place where journalists have to start, and that is not I think often taught in traditional journalism schools."

Goodman says investigative reporting starts "not by parroting the state line, but by questioning it."

"It's our job as journalists not to act as a megaphone for those in power. And that's certainly what I.F. Stone taught us."

Occasionally, Goodman says there are excellent investigative exposés in the corporate media but the daily coverage is bombarded with poor journalism and "know-nothing pundits who know so little about so much, explaining the world to us and getting it so wrong."

As well, Goodman finds that corporate media can mislead people by not revealing important contextual information.

"It's the generals who are interviewed who are just described as kind of elder statesmen instead of the fact that they're for example now working for weapons manufacturer who profits from the war that they're advocating for. But that's never identified," Goodman tells Tremonti.

"We need a media that covers power, not covers for power. We need a media that is the fourth estate, not for the state. And we need a media that covers the movements that create static, and move history."

Listen to the full conversation at the top of this web post that also includes director Fred Peabody.

This segment was produced by The Current's Julian Uzielli.