Movie of the Day – Page One: Inside the New York Times

In the ever changing digital landscape, most of the reliance on sites like Twitter and Facebook for information is leading us further away from the traditional means of information gathering.  Sure newspapers are still around to deliver us the daily ads and possible sudoku puzzle to make our morning commutes a little easier, but in a constantly changing, tech driven atmosphere, why pick up a paper anymore.  I carry my smartphone with me at all times and in reality, why would I need to pay for a newspaper for updates on world events when a simple app or online news aggregate can simply filter what I want to know.  It sounds cynical and maybe a slight against those who bust their ass to deliver credible, journalistic news stories, but are newspapers going to be around for much long, even institutional establishments like The New York Times?

In an era when newspapers are becoming increasingly obsolete, director Andrew Rossi offers a glimpse behind the scenes of the newsroom that has kept America informed for generations yet now struggles to remain relevant as more readers turn to the Internet to stay informed on current events. With their reputations on the line and the Internet Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads, the editors and writers at The New York Times battle accusations of inaccuracy, and embrace blogging as a means of retaining readers who might otherwise allow their longtime subscriptions to expire. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

The documentary by Andrew Rossi, pulls the curtain back on the hallowed institution that is The New York Times and depicts the turmoil that has plagued The Times since blogging was invented.  In our fast paced, tech savvy world, news and world events are tweeted and blogged in moments from just about anyone who has access to a computer.  The interconnected world that we live allows some strife in Egypt to reach out to the millions that are connected online in just mere minutes.  Traditional news outlets would be almost a day behind the story and it is already spreading like wildfire.

So the documentary looks to show the internal struggles of the The Times and how they are dealing with a world that blogs, tweets and youtubes on a daily basis.  The traditionalists want to cling to the old ways of pounding the pavement and using sources to generate their stories, but they realize the general futility of their actions.  It’s not to say that it doesn’t have its place, but rather the troubling aspect of having to change their methods to keep people coming back to the source.  You watch veterans go on about the old days and how sites like Wikileaks and blogging are the new crack journalism.  It’s the new frontier in working without boundaries, something that the Times acknowledges, but have a difficult time embracing.  Then you watch the young, fresh journalists that are already brought up in the age of twitter and blogs who are embracing the technology and using it to stay on the cusp of news.

But Page One isn’t just about The New York Times dealing with technology changes, but also giving us a fly on the wall perspective to what goes into making the news.  It’s fascinating watching all the rapid fire meetings, crushing deadlines and the little minutia that goes into the journalists story.  We get an unprecedented look at the people that bring us the news and who’s lives are also at a crossroads as the business deals with the rapid use of social media and blogging.

This is really a strong documentary that is objective and engaging.  We don’t really think twice about getting our news from blogs or twitter, whether valid or not.  Just a mere decade ago, newspapers were still the best source of information on current events and now our phone can bring us all the news we want, right at our fingertips.  I think this is a great insight into not only how the news is brought to us and by whom, but also an insight to the internal struggles that our technology is doing an institution like The New York Times.  It really is sink or swim for the news outlet, but the documentary doesn’t really tackle the issue at hand, rather it sits back to watch the natural progression of their concerns come to life.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

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