It often seems quite difficult to avoid hearing quotes from commentators in the media about the impending demise of the newspaper industry. It is a subject that all newspapers are grappling with at the current time with circulations dropping and ad revenue being squeezed on all sides, especially by digital. This documentary on the iconic New York Times provides a great insight into the issues being faced.
“Page One – Inside the New York Times”, directed by Andrew Rossi, examines how the New York Times is managing to stay relevant and commercially viable in the new modern age when it is being attacked on all sides by a plethora of online rivals providing news and analysis in different formats, nearly all of which are free.
Shot over a period of 14 months, the director gains access to the newsroom of America’s “paper of record” at a time when the paper is facing the biggest threats to its very survival since it was founded in 1896. The core storyline in the film follows the reporters at the newspapers’ Media Desk, established in 2008, which covers the media industry but also the evolution of new media and its impacts on traditional media institutions such as the New York Times itself.
With a multitude of different stories and issues that evolve during the film, from how social media has impacted on journalism, to the severe downturn that has hit the U.S. newspaper industry and to how the New York Times went about putting its online content behind a pay wall, the film is often quite chaotic (but most newspaper working environments generally are). However the film presents a great fly on the wall experience and an extremely honest view of the workings of one of the world’s great newspapers and how it is battling to survive in the face of mounting challenges both in terms of how news content is being consumed and the impact this will have on the future of the newspaper.
This really is mandatory viewing.
Garret Monahan – Head of Press
*Film released in September 2011 and is now available to buy or rent on DVD from most video stores.
Image courtesy of dogwoof.com
As always, if you have any opinions- supporting or conflicting- on this post or related matters we’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to post replies below