‘What’s left out of a news story is more important than what goes in’

In 1980, Eddie Conway participated in and helped organize a prisoners’ educational outreach program called “To Say Their Own Words,” where thinkers and scholars came to Maryland Penitentiary and spoke about topics like impending U.S. fascism, the prison-industrial complex, capitalism, increased surveillance, and many other issues that have become even more pressing today. These speakers included Amiri Baraka, Askia Muhammad, Bruce Franklin, Nijole Benokraitis, and Charlie Cobb.

In this speech, delivered to Maryland Penitentiary prisoners in 1980, journalist and civil rights activist Charlie Cobb discusses his experiences reporting in Rhodesia and the U.S., and explains how the news industry’s interests influence people’s understanding of themselves and the world.

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