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Page One: Inside The New York Times

Page One: Inside the New York Times: Major Newspaper Grapples with Future of Journalism

  • Bill KellerBrian Stelter...
  • Documentary
  • Out now
  • Andrew Rossi
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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Page One: Inside the New York Times: Major Newspaper Grapples with Future of Journalism
What happens when
traditional journalism dies? When an establishment as prestigious as The New
York Times
can no longer fund its operations? Are citizen journalism,
Twitter, blogs and Wikileaks enough and capable of feeding the appetite for
credible information? While it doesn’t posit any answers, Page One explores these questions through the perspective of the
media reporters at The New York Times, in particular through the eyes of
journalist David Carr.

Page One is highly dynamic
and makes some very valid albeit old points that gain new relevance when
highlighted this way. While journalism is a very human profession, the screens,
paper and avatars make disregarding the human element all too easy; and this
documentary makes you dwell on that. It shows you the amount of effort, talent
and emotion that goes into ferreting out stories and reporting them. It also
shows the effect that working under a death sentence has on the staffers. To
postpone this seemingly inevitable bankruptcy, plenty of people who have worked
at the paper for years have been forced to leave due to budget cuts made
necessary by dwindling sales and ad revenue.

Backed by their
agencies and showcased on a widely circulated platform, professional
journalists are able to produce the kind of hard hitting inside story that
run-of-the-mill citizen journalists can’t. This is illustrated by the story
that David Carr works on throughout the documentary, which was filmed
over the span of a year, resulting in a Pulitzer for his efforts and a huge
scandal for the company he wrote about. His talent and effort notwithstanding,
this piece would never have had such an impact if had he didn’t have the NYT’s huge platform. The film also frequently makes the point that only
traditional journalism can cover overseas war zones such as Iraq and
Afghanistan.       

Page One is quite timely.
Filmed in 2010, many of the events chronicled in the newsroom are still fresh
in our memories. We watch the reporters figure out what to do with the stuff
coming out of Wikileaks and wrestle with questions of morality and civic duty.

Page
One

doesn’t answer any of the questions that it explores, but it does make a very
convincing case for why traditional methods of journalism are indispensable.
However, what remains to be seen is how the problem of funding will be solved
after the decline of the service’s monetary value in the eyes of the
consumers. 

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360 Tip

Page One was originally supposed to be focused on David Carr, who then requested that the film be expanded to the whole media team.

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