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Page One – Inside The New York Times

Page One – Inside The New York Times

By Patrick Samuel • September 2nd, 2013
Static Mass Rating: 4/5

Release date: November 14th 2011
Running time: 92 minutes

Writers: Kate Novack, Andrew Rossi
Director: Andrew Rossi

Cast: David Carr, Bruce Headlam, Richard Perez-Pena, Tim Arango, Bill Keller, Brian Stelter, Julian Assange

Page One - A Year Inside The New York Times

Although the print newspaper industry hasn’t completely collapsed in the past decade, as some predicted it would, it has suffered considerable setbacks. Page One – Inside The New York Times is a documentary that first of all looks at how this happened and how The New York Times has been trying to adapt to changes in a market place that’s constantly moving forward.

Writer and director Andrew Rossi follows key journalists like David Carr, Tim Arango, Brian Stelter, Bruce Headlam and executive editor Bill Keller and finds out how factors such as a decrease in competition and revenue from advertising fuelled headlines that speculated on the demise of a newspaper that’s been publishing since September 18th, 1851.

What emerges from this is a study of an industry that was left crippled, not just by this, but by many other factors as well. They didn’t quite anticipate the effect the internet would have on its day-to-day running. They didn’t see Monster.com taking the jobs section. They didn’t see Craiglist taking the classifieds.

There have also been some bad apples; Judith Miller, who helped the Bush administration gain support for the Iraq war by falsely reporting on the existence of WMD’s and Jayson Blair, who further tarnished the reputation of the New York Times when it emerged that he was plagiarising articles.

The impact of Wikileaks is also examined. Journalists try to ascertain whether or not Julian Assange’s decision to publish highly classified documents was morally right or if he’s operating with his own agenda. As they discuss this, parallels are drawn between him and Daniel Ellsberg who leaked the Pentagon Papers that lead to the Watergate scandal and President Nixon’s resignation.

Page One - Inside The New York Times

They debate if a Youtube video of a US attack in Iraq posted by Wikileaks has been edited to tell just one side of a story or if the story and all its sides are clear regardless of the editing. This and many other issues which are raised in Page One tell us that the American newspaper industry has reached a point that’s a world away from when Gay Talese wrote about it in 1969:

“The Times was a very human institution, run by flawed figures, men who saw things as they could see them. But it was equally true that the Times nearly always tried to be fair. And each day, barring labor strikes or hydrogen bombs, it would appear in 11,464 cities throughout the nation and in all the capitals of the world, 50 copies going to the White House, 39 copies to Moscow, a few smuggled into Beijing, and a thick Sunday edition to the foreign minister in Taiwan, because he required the Times as necessary proof of the Earth’s existence, a barometer of its pressure, an assessor of its sanity. If the world did indeed still exist, he knew it would be duly recorded each day in the Times.”

As The New York Times heads into the digital age with many of its writers using Twitter and blogging to reach its new internet audience, they’ve also made the decision to charge for accessing their site’s content. While some still see social media and internet technology as a threat to newsroom-based journalism, The New York Times seems ready to embrace it, or is it simply putting up with it?


  • Gay Talese, The Kingdom and the Power (1969)

What Page One doesn’t do is tell us if these attempts to remain relevant in a world where alternative news sources like Spiegel Online, Russia Today and Al Jazeera provide faster, clearer and more often than not, impartial news, has helped to circumvent its fall in readership.

Despite that oversight it is a very engaging documentary that anyone with an interest in media, politics and history should make time to see.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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