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film by BEN DAITZ

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 Espanola, New Mexico 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--an honest, fearless, independent journalist, and a mentor to generations of young reporters. The Sun is known for its investigative reporting. It 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, the sports, the art and culture of a large rural county. John Burnett, an NPR correspondent, reports on the Sun's Police Blotter--'the best in the country.' Tony Hillerman, the celebrated author and newspaper editor, speaks eloquently about the value of small town newspapers, as does Jock Lauterer, who teaches and writes extensively about community journalism.

Produced & Directed by Ben Daitz
Narrated by Bob Edwards
Documentary: 55 minutes Released: 2012


New Mexico Foundation for Open Government at Jean Cocteau Cinema, Santa Fe, 2015
New Mexico Press Association, September 26, 2013
KNME television (New Mexico PBS), 2013
Newseum, Washington, DC, August 10, 2013
AEJMC Conference, Washington, DC, August 10, 2013
Albuquerque Film & Media Experience, NM, June 3, 2013
Guild Cinema, Albuqurerque, NM, February 9, 2013
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, October, 2012
Ojai Film Festival, October, 2012
University of Maryland Journalism School, September, 2012


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