‘Page One’ & the Future of the New York Times

I’ll admit it; pursuing journalism has me worried about finding a job after college. The decline of print media and evident economic struggles of our time are thinning many newsrooms, including the New York Times, as the digital boom shakes the foundation of journalism.  It seems like everyone knows where journalism has gone before, but nobody seems sure where journalism will go throughout this hectic mass media evolution.

Page One: Inside the New York Times opens the door to one of the most iconic newsrooms for one year during its struggles to remain alive, and to remain distinguished in its role to gather and circulate stories despite the rumors of the New York Times going under. The mere thought of no longer reading the NY Times leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, but I do not fear for its future.

The documentary is largely lead by David Carr, media and culture columnist for the New York Times. His sharp tongue and dated approach to journalism makes for a witty narrative as he proves time after time that traditional journalism is here to stay, regardless the emergence of digital media.

The most memorable part of the film is when Carr rebuts Newser founder and Vanity Fair Columnist Michael Wolff during a panel for a debate over what is to come for news in the future. Wolff speaks his view on Newser’s role as news aggregator and its becoming as the leading news age. In response, Carr holds up a physical copy of the Newser’s aggregation of New York Times’ stories in one hand, and in the other, a page of empty cut-out squares to declare that Newser would have no content without original reporting from New York Times and other large distinguished legacy newsrooms.

“Page One” rekindles my passion for journalism again as it proposes a challenge. Inside NY Times’s newsroom, journalists are asked to be more than just news gatherers and reporters. Brian Stelter, who in college wrote a blog that caught the eyes of the NY Times, is now is the on-point man for the newspaper’s social media online and in print. His ‘new media’ approach to journalism delightfully juxtaposes Carr’s traditional one as Carr insists Stelter is “a robot made by New York Times to destroy him.”  The intellectual dynamic in the NY Times newsroom proves beneficial to the integrity of their reporting as they collaborate, deliberate, dispute and dig for vital stories. And although the film leaves viewers still unsure if the New York Times will stand the test of time, “Page One” documents its accounts just as any fair news newsroom, the facts.