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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unfocused yet stimulating film about troubled media giant
This is a must-see (if somewhat unfocused) documentary for anyone interested in the future of the mainstream media. Page One covers a year in the life of the New York Times, a once mighty newspaper now reduced to mortgaging its own building and taking out costly loans from a Mexican telecommunications tycoon. The paper, which is a "legacy" media operation (i.e. very...
Published on December 5, 2011 by David Ljunggren

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Whether you like reading the newspaper or not
All right all you New York Times readers--this one’s for you. Whether you like reading the newspaper or
not, whether you like the New York Times or not, you have to admit that it is one of --if not the-- leading
source of news information in the world. Sure, go ahead and log on to an online service news provider if
you want, but next time really study...
Published 4 months ago by Tom S


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unfocused yet stimulating film about troubled media giant, December 5, 2011
By 
David Ljunggren (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Page One: Inside The New York Times (DVD)
This is a must-see (if somewhat unfocused) documentary for anyone interested in the future of the mainstream media. Page One covers a year in the life of the New York Times, a once mighty newspaper now reduced to mortgaging its own building and taking out costly loans from a Mexican telecommunications tycoon. The paper, which is a "legacy" media operation (i.e. very expensive to run) has been hit hard by the simultaneous collapse in advertising revenue and the rise of new media. The days when a story wasn't a story until it the New York Times are over. Or are they?

The giant may be wounded, but it's still a giant. Page One shows some of the negotiations with Julian Assange of Wikileaks, who provided material to the paper because he knew it was the best way to spread his message. Popular news aggregator sites are happy to link to, or rewrite, New York Times stories but don't want to pay for them.

So what does the paper do? Does it stop printing and focus only on digital delivery, does it put up a paywall to fend off the freeloaders, or does it continue trying to save costs (we see tearful farewells of people who have been fired) as it slowly bleeds away? Several other major U.S. newspapers have already folded while others are effectively in bankruptcy protection. Who cares who produces the news as long as it's out there?

Because this is a media story, Page One tells it largely through the eyes of the paper's media reporters. This is where the film starts to run into problems. Much of the film focuses on David Carr, the loud and opinionated media correspondent who used to be a violent drug addict until he turned his life around. Although Carr is certainly a character, and resolutely defends the traditional values of the paper at the many panels he speaks at, putting so much emphasis on one person means the audience starts to wonder whether the film is really about him or the Times or both or neither. The effect is confusing and we wander down a few dead-ends, such as the farewell party for a reporter heading off for Iraq. This is supposed to show that the Times does matter, that it is devoting a lot of resources to cover a difficult and important story. Yet the way it is slotted into the film makes it look almost like an afterthought.

That said, there's enough here to make it worthwhile, including some very funny moments (the bemused reaction of reporters and editors when NBC "announces" the pullout of the last U.S. troops from Iraq is worth the entry price alone) and many scenarios which will ring true for reporters in the audience.

Page One doesn't really answer any of the questions it poses, although it does seem to conclude the Times would be sorely missed if the paper went under. All in all, this is a flawed documentary, yet one well worth watching.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you're interested in journalism today, see this!, October 24, 2011
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This review is from: Page One: Inside The New York Times (DVD)
This documentary isn't for everyone, which is why I rated it a 4 not a 5. But for someone interested in journalism today, I think it's very interesting. I thought the filmmakers did a good job of balancing perspectives about topics like the shrinking of print journalism, who will pay for the news? (real news...you know, with facts and such), and the Gray Lady herself. I found David Carr (who's Carpetbagger series bored me in the NYT online) a very interesting character. Then-Editor Bill Keller was very open and thoughtful. The younger guns who are neck deep in new/social media were sharp and insightful. And the timing of the announcements at the end was very cool. Great stuff.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lies that life is black and white, December 9, 2011
This review is from: Page One: Inside The New York Times (DVD)
While I do not necessarily anticipate PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES addressing it, somehow it disappoints me that this documentary leaves the so-called demise of newspapers at blame-the-Internet. I have read that many papers would be in better shape, and certainly fewer out of business, had publishers not left what was already a very profitable business alone by unnecessarily cutting costs, the appeal of even bigger short-term payoffs dooming long-term revenue. Still, I can't complain about PAGE ONE being what it is, especially since many NEW YORK TIMES reporters we meet aren't the stuffed shirts I, for one, would have expected.

PAGE ONE reminds us that even if the Internet had not cut in on some of the newspaper industry's action, THE NEW YORK TIMES probably still would have lost readers when its complicity with the Bush White House became public knowledge. As a subscriber to the F.A.I.R. (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) publication EXTRA! for 25 years, I've read more than a few articles about the TIMES' pro-moneyed interests reporting, but the Judith Miller/Iraq scandal took it to a higher level.

Nonetheless, I'm still rooting for the NEW YORK TIMES to survive and be a great newspaper, even if it was never as great as we think. We need newspapers. There is no substitute for them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Year Of Journalism From The Inside Out, April 7, 2012
This review is from: Page One: Inside The New York Times (DVD)
When the New York Times decided that they needed to charge for the digital version of their paper, I was undecided. I could view 20 items a month, but quickly realized that would take me through a few days. I love the Times, and signed my contract. I read the New York Times everyday, but I had only a passing understanding of how a newspaper really works. I had seen all the films, read all the books by the famous journalists, but watching this documentary, gave me such a different view of the New York Times.

The documentary gives an overview of how the best newspaper in the world, functions and runs its daily business. It concentrates a great deal on the financial crisis of 2008 and on. This time was probably the most critical time in the face of journalism, many newspapers went under, thousands of lay offs occurred across the US. We are given a first hand look at the media desk, and a sampling of journalists, but not the nitty gritty of newspaper life. We follow David Carr as he discovers a great story about the Chicago Tribune and the scandals involved. David Carr is a superb journalist and we see how he works and how he gathers his information. We follow him on several speaking events. This documentary also focuses on the Pentagon Papers, Judith Miller, and Jayson Blair. We meet Bill Keller, the executive editor, but don't really see him at his job. We meet Brian Stelter who garnered his job from a blog that became so popular that Brian Williams read it everyday, and he was offered a job at the New York Times. I follow his tweets and learn a great deal from him about the news of the world.

This documentary gave me a bird's eye view of the New York Times, but I felt I was missing the real guts and glory of the paper. I came away feeling more impressed with the New York Times. A second edition documentary would be a great investment.

Recommended. prisrob 04-07-12

The Night of the Gun: A reporter investigates the darkest story of his life. His own.

Is it a show or a commercial? Increasingly, it's both, as advertisers find new ways to pitch their products inside TV programs.(MEDIA): An article from: New York Times Upfront
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-See If You Care About The Future of News, April 4, 2012
First off, everyone who cares about newspapers and journalism in general or the New York Times in particular should see this movie.

Page One: Inside The New York Times is a compelling fly-on-the-wall documentary (released in 2011) that takes you inside the newsroom during a stressful, challenging time in The Gray Lady's history.

It's 2010, and as newspapers all around the country are going bankrupt, things are looking dire at The Times too. The question is, if it's this tough for the New York Times - and by extension every other national and major metro newspaper - what hope is there for everyone else?

For those who know the industry, the challenges are not new: Like most US newspapers, the NYT is struggling in the age of the internet. The high costs of the "legacy" business - a big newsroom, a network of global bureaus, a dead-tree product distributed inefficiently by a fleet of trucks, etc. etc. - are slamming up against a declining print readership and, even more importantly, a cratering ad market, with the Classified section already savaged by Craiglist and the "expensive" display advertising market tanking in the face of a brutal recession.

But if the future is all online, where does the future revenue come from? Especially in a world where, as the Times's Brian Stelter points out, more and more online readers have, "grown up in the era where everything seems free."

Beyond the business questions, the film also explores the crucial debate about the role newspapers like the Times play in American society. Are they, as then-Executive Editor Bill Keller says, "essential to a functioning democracy." Do they still fulfill the mission described by famed Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein of delivering "the best obtainable version of the truth"?

Among the 2010 news stories we see covered: The release of the Wikileaks cables. The final pullout of combat troops from Iraq. The Times reporting on the bankruptcy of Sam Zell's doomed experiment at the Tribune Company. Plus, stories crucial to the Times's own future: the launch of the iPad, the decision to charge for access to the Times online. (This attempt to reinvent the online business model with a "metered paywall," is described by media and tech guru Clay Shirky as the "NPR model" relying on the support of a faithful, well-intentioned audience so that a product may survive to serve the general good.)

At one point Sam Zell is seen (in a clip from a YouTube video) talking to his newspaper employees explaining how he will save the Tribune Company because "he is not a newspaperman, (but) a business man."

The movie follows business columnist David Carr - a star of the movie - as he reports on the collapse of Sam Zell's Tribune Company, the biggest media bankruptcy in history. When explaining how CEO Randy Michaels and a handful of executives extracted $100 million in bonuses even as billions of dollars of value evaporated, Carr wryly states: "you could call that incentives or you could call that looting, depending on your perspective."

Later we see how David Carr's extensive takedown of the "frat-house" culture that helped destroy the morale of Tribune employees comes together--and how Carr relies on "the muscles of the institution" of The Times to get to work when the Tribune lawyers threaten legal action before his story goes to press.

Watch this movie and you will, I'm sure, care about the answers to the questions it raises: Can news(papers) be saved? Can reporting staffs and foreign bureaus be saved? What is journalism in the age of Twitter and Wikileaks? Who will pay to keep newspapers going? How much do we all lose if and when the journalism now produced by newspapers goes away?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So compelling, I subscribed, February 18, 2013
By 
A. Oliveri (Chevy Chase, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
David Carr's argument for journalism and the N Y Times alone makes this documentary worth watching. Solid reporting, human connection, dramatic pace.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I had wanted to be a journalist...before I became an acupuncturist., March 14, 2012
This is a movie about those of us from the 60s who wanted to make a change in the world and we actually did. An enormous change; one in which we have taken the icons off the shelf and shattered them, not merely to destroy them, but to determine their character, internal mechanism, values. I think we did this because we all wanted the unvarnished truth; even if we can't take it, don't know what to do with it once we have that truth. Making tough decision and then standing up to the consequences can be a rare tight rope walk, and someone will or even has gotten hurt. Yet changes are inevitable and while we seem to have less control over these events that are taking place, it is all part of the ebb and tide, or the current term may be more like the yin and yang of all things. I, myself wanted to become a journalist before making the final choice to use my investigative and analytical nature in the field of health care. Choosing Traditional Chinese Medicine allowed me to use the same searching within a large field of knowledge and wisdom, in order to collect and determine a diagnosis and treatment, and relieve suffering. Funny, it has been nearly impossible to survive the loss of integrity in the printed or virtual word, however. Followed by use of public opinion and fear based accusations, regardless of the successes in undisclosed patient records and lives successfully changed, I have not survived the drastic use of fraudulent documentation. I can no longer refer to myself as an acupuncturist, even in the past tense, according to the legal threats, indicating that I am responsible for using the title doctor on the internet, when directories posted my name as such to promote their 'lists'. In the not to distant past, it was referred to as slander and libel, or even fraud. I am not sure that these terms still exist in the legal codes any longer. Now we call it bullying and frown on it. I am a digital subscriber to the NY Times out of loyalty to the truth and integrity that it (truth) can call forward when published, albeit in print or online. Of course, I was already getting my news throughout the web on other sites, before returning to pay for my subscription at the NYT. Somehow, it is an exchange of trust. I with my meager digital subscription rate get to read the headlines and breaking news 24/7, search for stories on topic that influence my daily decisions, share articles that are noteworthy with collaboratives or combatants, while the NYT continue to use journalism ethics, reporting as accurately as I expect them to, I hope... [This was a great and informative video. Thank you for sharing. And thanks to Amazon for providing it as a benefit to my paid membership in their Prime program.]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Journalism..., January 20, 2012
After watching this documentary, you ask yourself why would anyone want to be a journalist or in business of daily paper regardless of the fact that Internet is killing the daily newspaper or not... This people have to deal with deadline after deadline on daily basis which has to do with their efficiency and integrity so readers who trust this daily paper get up to date news from them every single morning. On top of that, they have to deal with salaries, overhead and worst of all competition who wants them out of the way. Journalism, one tough business to be in and this documentary allows you to see that only if you choose to. Bravo.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Content vs. Platform, October 24, 2011
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It's about traditional media vs. new media. It's about the demise of newspapers. Most of all, this is a look at the way journalism is capable of working. I really didn't hear a lot "complaining" about new media. There was a lamination by people who care about their job and what they do under attack by a culture not interested in learning about the world.

I really enjoyed Page One. This is the first time I had the chance to watch editors pick apart stories as they happen; this was the first chance I had to actually watch a reporter fact check a story for balance and accuracy. It explores numerous questions, and doesn't pretend to have a single definitive answer.

What is the visual of the end of the war, when there is no end of the war?
(Concerning the troop width-drawl from Iraq)

What does a community loose when a local newspaper closes?

There is a lot going on in this, and I'll watch it a few more times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth your time, September 29, 2013
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Excellent film. Interesting on its own, great as an educational tool for journalism teachers. Highly recommend. I've watched it twice.
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Page One: Inside The New York Times
Page One: Inside The New York Times by Andrew Rossi (DVD - 2011)
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