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.
In the age of digital media and the 24-hour news cycle, this is the story of a small town newspaper that causes traffic jams when it's hawked on the street.
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