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'Fake News' Then And Now: New Film Digs Into Joseph Pulitzer's Life And Legacy, Connections To Today

Oren Rudavsky is the director and producer of "Joseph Pulizter: Voice of the People."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Like many documentarians, Oren Rudavsky delved into his latest film project eager to “get under the surface” of his subject’s public persona. And his soon-to-premiere documentary “Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People” manages to do just that.

But Rudavsky’s primary reasons for making the film about the celebrated giant of American journalism and founder of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch were political ones, he told St. Louis on the Air executive producer Alex Heuer during Monday’s show.

“[Those reasons] became even more evident during the run-up to the 2016 election when immigration and issues about immigrants came to the fore,” Rudavsky said, “[and] when the news media was being attacked and continues to be attacked. ‘Fake news’ was a term that Pulitzer [used] in an article he wrote in 1902.”

Narrated by acclaimed actor Adam Driver, the film is set to premiere on PBS nationwide this Friday, with an 8 p.m. broadcast on the Nine Network in St. Louis.

The name “Pulitzer” continues to loom large in the journalism world and in St. Louis, though the Pulitzer family sold the Post-Dispatch in 2005.

Listen to the conversation:

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air producers Alex Heuer, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Jon Lewis give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Jon Lewis was the production intern at St. Louis Public Radio from January to May 2019. Originally from Pelham, New York, Jon came to St. Louis to attend Washington University in 2015. Previously, Jon has interned for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Eight by Eight, a soccer magazine based in Brooklyn.
Evie was a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
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