Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times (15)
Friday 23 September 2011
Andrew Rossi's insider portrait of The New York Times is like one of those nature documentaries that investigate the plight of an endangered species, only here it's not a single newspaper under threat, but news print itself.
Given the rise of the internet and the blogging culture, it's perhaps not as ominous a film as you'd expect, though its focus is inescapably drawn to the paper's media desk and its reporting of the very phenomena that may one day put them out of business. Rossi got lucky, because it was there he stumbled on the star of his story: David Carr, a one-time crack addict, is The Times's media columnist and a near-heroic example of the old-school reporter – cynical and hard-bitten, yet passionate in his belief that newspapers can still make a difference. Indeed, he proves it, by exposing the scandalous mismanagement that hurried the collapse of the Chicago Tribune. Just to listen to his gravelly, wised-up voice on the phone to his "sources" is a treat. How interesting this will be to British audiences is moot, but for anyone who cares about newspapers it offers a fascinating angle on an industry in transition.
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