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The Truth is out There: One Rogue Reporter Documentary Review

Submitted by on June 26, 2014 – 2:08 pmNo Comment

 

Left to right:Tom Jenkinson and Rich Peppiatt directors of the documentary One rogue reporter shown at the Rio Cinema, Hackney London.

Press, smut peddlers have their whole operation opened and dissected by Rich Peppiatt, former tabloid reporter, in a new documentary called One Rogue Reporter. Shown as part of the films of the East End Film Festival at the Rio Cinema in Dalston last weekend.

Peppiatt worked for the Daily Star  tabloid until a road to Damascus moment that made him see the error of his ways. In his former job he was forced to be a hater inventing negative sensationalist stories on Muslims. He stood up, said enough, had his resignation letter published in the Guardian and quit the scene. In the letter was a scathing attack on the whole tabloid set-up where he mentioned how stories were created to sell newspapers. The aim for this target audience was that of the ignorant xenophobic white British reader that thrives on this fiction.

Concerning the style of the documentary Dennis Pennis fans might initially feel the similarity here of a pissed off presenter attacking those that he feels deserve it. Although unlike Pennis, the alter ego of Paul Kaye, Peppiatt attacks those who create the news, the faces behind the tabloids, not the celebrities. And also unlike Kaye’s character Peppiatt is not as angry but more like an avenger with a smile and a deep seated look of satisfaction. Biblical analogies towards Peppiatt’s performance have differed considerably, from the Guardian’s, “Breathtaking…Fleet Street’s very own Angel of Vengeance” to Daily Star stating simply, “A Judas”.

As a viewer one is able to laugh at the comedic aspects but also shake their head at the hypocrisy that the investigative aspect of this documentary brings to light on these individuals. Yet overall watching his antics one feels an overwhelming sense of justice at the acts of sabotage being thrown back in the faces of those who dish the dirt out on people and ruin their lives.

The shit list of tabloid editors include: the former Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie and current Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre. Interviewees in the film consist of a mix of those who were the focus of the tabloid tirade against them and those who are critical of the practices of these sensationalist media outlets. Such as actor Hugh Grant, Steve Coogan, former MP John Prescott, Max Moseley, the master of media critique Roy Greenslade, Guardian journalists Owen Jones and Nick Davies and Independent journalist Joan Smith.

As Peppiatt said in the Q&A after the screening with the co-director Tom Jenkinson,  “I think that we are really interested in doing further things that challenge power by investigating who the big people are!” If this is to be the case with more of these types of documentaries being made then those who feel that they are untouchable should take heed of the adage, “The truth always catches up with you”!

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