Imagine you lived in a world where your only reliable news source became government propaganda overnight. That’s exactly what happened in 2018 to the citizens of the Muscogee Nation, the fourth largest Native American tribe. Out of 574 federally-recognized tribes, the Muscogee Nation was one of only five to establish a free and independent press — until the tribe’s legislative branch abruptly repealed the landmark Free Press Act in advance of an election. The tribe’s hard-hitting news outlet, Mvskoke Media, would now be subject to direct editorial oversight by the tribal government.
One defiant journalist refuses to accept this flagrant act of oppression. As brave as she is blunt, veracious muckraker Angel Ellis charges headfirst into battle against the corrupt faction of the Muscogee National Council. Angel and her allies rally for press freedoms by inciting a voter-supported constitutional amendment, just in time for the start of a new election cycle. An enthralling, edge-of-your-seat nail biter that unfurls with the energy and suspense of a political thriller, BAD PRESS is a timely and unprecedented story about the battle for freedom of the press and against state-censored media. (Synopsis from the Sundance Film Festival — where BAD PRESS received the Special Jury Award for Freedom of Expression)
“It’s one of the best American films about journalism to come along in the past decade, a genuinely shocking study on how the First Amendment isn’t a guarantee for all U.S. citizens. If you care about journalism or government transparency even in the slightest, this is a must-see documentary.” —Cory Woodroof, Nashville Scene “BAD PRESS reveals the essential nature of the free press and what happens when it is stifled by politicians and officials who would rather control the narrative than let the truth see the light of day.” —Therese Lacson, Collider