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An interview with CEO Paul Jay about the vision of The Real News
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An interview with Paul Jay

CEO and Senior Editor

The Real News

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR: I would start talking with the taxi driver. You know, �What are you doing?� And I'd say, you know, �We're building this TV network. No corporate funding, and no government funding, and no advertising.� And the taxi driver would say, "Oh, you mean the real news." I heard it over and over and over again. So a measure of success will be I'll get in the cab, and the cab driver's going to say, "Well, I had this politician in the back seat yesterday, and he was telling me such and such"; and I say, "Uh-uh. That's not true. I saw it on The Real News." If I hear that, if we can get to the taxi drivers, if we can get to ordinary people and help them have the facts to defend their own interests, then that will be a big measure of success.


JAY: The whole point of our network is that we're about the future. We're about solutions. We're about looking for ways to�it's not enough to do news that, at the end of it, you want to blow your brains out. You know, there's no point to watching news if it isn't about how you can engage in the world to make it better.

(TEXT ON SCREEN): What makes The Real News different from other television news?

JAY: We don't think The Real News will be run by people who are braver or more courageous or smarter than other journalists. There are many people with talent working in other television newsrooms. What makes us different is our funding model. Hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, starting in English, send five or ten dollars a month to us. If enough people do it, we can sustain this. With that kind of funding model, we don't have to worry about quick-ratings results; we don't have to worry about withdrawing of advertising or government subsidies. It means when we're in the newsroom, we only have one thing to worry about: did we get the facts right? Most people are fairly clear--the politicians are not speaking to them honestly, openly, and sincerely, but the news media's reporting on them as if they are.

(TEXT ON SCREEN): Why do we need The Real News?

JAY: We need television news that can stand up under the most furious assault, whether that assault is the drumbeats of war or partisan-political pressure. If you're going to have democracy, you have to have an infrastructure that can say, no, that's not true, that's a lie, and here are the facts. If you do verifiable facts, you're accused of doing left-wing journalism. So if we had reported on the day Colin Powell went to the UN that he wasn't telling the truth, would that have been left-wing journalism? Well, it would have been said so, but it would have been real journalism. When Sy Hersh broke Abu Ghraib, is that left wing journalism? No, it's journalism. It seems too complicated. And part of the problem is the way news is done is every event seems isolated, like, that happens, then this happens, then this happens�there's no pattern. The problem is people can't see the patterns. Well, that's our job. That's what historical context is. People have to start to see the patterns. But if you feel that you can't, then you feel detached. So it's called apathy. But what is the apathy? Are you apathetic about your own interests? If in a hundred years people are going to look back and say, "What did The Real News do?" what do I hope they'll say is that we inspired people to be conscious, to know their world, to embrace the facts fearlessly, to act, to write their own future; not to think it was overwhelming, not to think it was too depressing, but to feel optimistic that there can be a future. So, you know, yeah, I hope we make people hopeful, but not naively, not through rose-colored glasses. Real hope means facing reality.

(TEXT ON SCREEN): Make �The Real News� a reality.


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