The concept of ConceptionMedia is born out of a sincere desire to provide honest and accurate information to the public, based on the knowledge that the solutions to our greatest issues and conflicts lie in mutual understanding, tolerance, and the bonds of our common humanity.
Following the attacks of 9/11, filmmaker Mark Manning set out to produce a documentary project that sought to find answers to the varied and heartfelt questions that so many of us were asking, questions that seemed to have no real answers. With camera in hand, Manning traveled through all regions of the United States, talking to people from all walks of life, in a journey than delved deep into the American psyche. From Main Street to Wall Street, across all social, political and economic lines, every citizen interviewed had deep convictions and emotional opinions, yet very few had any real facts to back up their beliefs. During the 3 years of production, it became strikingly clear that the media played a fundamental role in shaping the opinions and beliefs of the public, but had failed to accurately and responsibly inform.
During this journey across America, the Iraq war began. With a new understanding about the crisis of accurate information in the media, Manning decided to travel to Iraq himself to find out more about was really happening, and why. Through a unique set of circumstances, he ultimately found himself reporting from ground zero of the aftermath of the largest battle of the Iraq war, in Fallujah. In this city that the American media dubbed the “hotbed of the insurgency” and “infested with terrorists,” and the Arab press used as an example to vilify American soldiers and military atrocities, Manning found the humanity of the people most affected and involved in all sides of the war. He became the only un-embedded, independent westerner to gain access inside this forbidden city and live with the people of Fallujah, enabling him to experience the war from perspective of Iraqi civilians, and interact with both Iraqi fighters and American soldiers. His first-hand experience of the massive suffering created by large-scale violence and the cultural separation perpetuated by media stereotypes has shaped his determination for a more just and effective media.
Upon returning to the United States, Manning produced two critically acclaimed documentaries that expose the human aspects of war, and co-founded an international relief agency specializing in the delivery of humanitarian supplies into combat zones.
As the founder of ConceptionMedia, this commitment and passion lies in providing ethical media to the public in the pursuit of rational, human-based solutions.