Segments in this Video

Rio Grande Sun (02:13)


The news editor, publisher, and reporters talk about this small town newspaper's importance.

Digital Age (03:16)

Newspapers are disappearing because of the Internet, but the Rio Grande Sun continues to sell out. Bob Trapp was a young reporter when he started the paper.

Spanish and Native American Roots (03:25)

Española is a small town in the Rio Grande Valley. The Rio Grande Sun covers news from the entire area; the community is 85% Hispanic.

Community Journalism (03:03)

Española citizens look forward to the daily newspaper. They purchase it from street vendors and stands.

Career at Community Newspaper (02:05)

Rio Grande Sun Publisher, Trapp talks about what it takes to be a journalist in Española.

Local Drug Problem (02:02)

In 1999, the Rio Grande Sun broke the national story that Rio Arriba County had the highest per capita heroin overdose rate in the country.

Morals in Journalism (02:04)

The Española School District has had eight Superintendents over the past ten years. Some accuse the Rio Grande Sun of distorting news.

Journalism Award (03:52)

Bryant Furlow won the New Mexico Press Association Award for his reporting about sedating inmates in the county jail.

Exercising Free Speech (02:48)

The Rio Grande Sun publicly holds the local government accountable. The newspaper has filed and won multiple lawsuits.

Sports Reporting (04:26)

The Rio Grande Sun covers local sports and focuses on putting kids in the paper. The sports reporter drives all over the county to cover as many games as possible.

Police Blotter (04:26)

Some people do not want to see crime reports in the local paper. This section of the Rio Grande Sun serves as the community press watchdog.

Cub Reporter (02:26)

Reporters for the Rio Grande Sun are encouraged to go out and find news in the community. A new employee covers an embezzlement story.

Kathy Borrego Investigation (03:34)

Lou Mattei's reporting won the New Mexico Press Association Award for Investigative Journalism.

Obituaries (02:08)

Obits are the most widely read part of the newspaper. The Rio Grande Sun's advertising director writes them to ensure accuracy.

Reporting on the Arts (01:57)

Arts reporter Bob Eckert talks about this newspaper section's evolution. A local artist share knowledge about the Southwest's history.

Politics (03:01)

The Rio Grande Sun plays helps provide information to the community. Some locals accuse the newspaper of bias, inaccuracy, and negativity.

Community Focus (02:06)

Reporters at the Rio Grande Sun have the freedom to investigate. The newspaper owners want to maintain a small town focus.

Future of Print Journalism (04:20)

The Rio Grande Sun does not put time, effort, or money into the Web. The paper's purpose is to serve the community.

Credits: The Sun Never Sets: The Story of a Small Town Newspaper (01:12)

Credits: The Sun Never Sets: The Story of a Small Town Newspaper

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The Sun Never Sets: The Story of a Small Town Newspaper

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The Sun Never Sets is a film about the Rio Grande Sun, published in Española, New Mexico, and considered one of the best weekly newspapers in the country. Known for its integrity and award winning, investigative reporting, the Sun consistently attracts young, dedicated journalists. The paper 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. In the age of digital media and the 24- hour news cycle, the Sun practices real community journalism, causing traffic jams when it's hawked on the street. 

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL60246

ISBN: 978-1-60057-416-0

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

The Sun Never Sets is an intriguing and inspiring documentary to show in journalism classes. Its message about the power and possibilities of investigative journalism, with an emphasis on solid reporting skills over Internet prowess, and illustrating the importance of a newspaper as both a watchdog and a vital link to the community, is a significant lesson to convey. And with a running length of fifty-five minutes, it would work in many standard class periods. Watching this documentary makes one hope that the kind of newspaper it portrays will continue to thrive and will not become a quaint anachronism.”—Journalism & Mass Communication Educator

"One Tough Weekly.”—Columbia Journalism Review

The Sun Never Sets is a vital piece of documentary filmmaking.”—The Weekly Alibi

Performance Rights

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.