SHADOWS OF LIBERTY examines how the US media is controlled by a handful of corporations exercising extraordinary political, social, and economic power.



Having always allowed broadcasting to be controlled by commercial interests, the loosening of media ownership regulations, that began under Reagan and continued under Clinton, has led to the current situation where five mega corporations control the vast majority of the media in the United States. These companies not only don't prioritize investigative journalism, but can and do clamp down on it when their interests are threatened.

The film begins with three journalists whose careers were destroyed because of the stories they broke: Roberta Baskin, whose scoop about Nike sweatshops didn't sit well with CBS when Nike became a co-sponsor of the Olympics; Kristina Borjesson, another CBS reporter, whose job lasted precisely one week after the network spiked her investigation into the TWA Flight 800 disaster in 1996; and Gary Webb, whose story linking US support for Nicaraguan Contras and the epidemic in crack cocaine was trashed by The New York Times and the Washington Post. (His story was true, but Webb lost his job and eventually killed himself.)

With the help of interviewees including Daniel Ellsburg, Dan Rather, Julian Assange, Chris Hedges, Dick Gregory, Robert McChesney, John Nichols and Amy Goodman, the film explores in depth the monopolies and vested interests that filter the dissemination of information thus damaging the democratic process. One notorious example, featured in the film, of the anti-democratic nexus between the military-industrial complex and the news media was the latter's unquestioning acceptance of the former's trumped up justification for the Iraq War.

With profits taking priority over the truth and the powerful being taken at their word rather than taken to task, the film asks whether the Internet can withstand corporate pressure and remain free, or will it too fall into the hands of monopolistic corporations.

Ultimately has our commercial world caused us to lose one of the most precious commodities of all — unbiased information?

There are two versions of this program on the same DVD: 93-minutes and 53-minutes.

SDH Captioning for the Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing

Directed and Produced by Jean-Philippe Tremblay
Executive Producers: Docfactory
Co-Producer/Co-Writer: Dan Cantagallo
Director of Photography: Arthur Jafa
Editor: Gregers Sall
Music: Tandis Jenhudson

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"A brilliant, riveting and deeply disturbing insight into co
rporate control of American media and American public opinion."
Geoffrey R. Stone, Professor of Law, University of Chicago

 "All Americans should be concerned — if only the media would allow them to be...
Shadows of Liberty seems destined to remain a film one must seek out.
Those who do will be rewarded."

The Wig

"Shadows of Liberty offers a trenchant critique of our media system, effectively highlighting how and why corporate consolidation of media undermines democracy. Featuring the voices of our most wise and compelling media analysts, the film is a clarion call for media reform to create a media system that promotes citizenship and substantive journalism rather than corporate profits and infotainment."
William Hoynes, Professor of Sociology and Media Studies, Vassar College, Author, Public Television for Sale, Co-Author, The Business of Media: Corporate Media and the Public Interest

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