A powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of embedded and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan, disaster in Iraq and WW3.
As weapons and propaganda become even more sophisticated, the nature of war is developing into an electronic battlefield in which journalists play a key role, and civilians are the victims. But who is the real enemy?
John Pilger says in the film: “We journalists… have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else’s country… That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is.
For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home… In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us… Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power.”
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John Richard Pilger (born 9 October 1939) is an Australian journalist based since 1962 in the United Kingdom.
Pilger has been a strong critic of American, Australian and British foreign policy, which he considers to be driven by an imperialist agenda. Pilger has also criticised his native country’s treatment of Indigenous Australians.
His career as a documentary film maker began with The Quiet Mutiny (1970), made during one of his visits to Vietnam, and has continued with over fifty documentaries since then. Other works in this form include Year Zero (1979), about the aftermath of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, and Death of a Nation: The Timor Conspiracy (1993). Pilger’s many documentary films on indigenous Australians include The Secret Country (1985) and Utopia (2013). In the British print media, Pilger worked at the Daily Mirror from 1963–86, and wrote a regular column for the New Statesman magazine from 1991 to 2014.
Pilger has twice won Britain’s Journalist of the Year Award [clarification needed]. His documentaries have gained awards in Britain and worldwide. The practices of the mainstream media are a regular subject in Pilger’s writing.