Sarah Cooper vows to write more hardhitting stories after watching Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times at Sheffield Doc/Fest.
I came away inspired to be a better journalist after watching Andrew Rossi’s fascinating documentary Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times in Sheffield last night.
Rossi spent a year (2010) following the media desk at the NYT as they battled to keep doing their jobs amidst the turmoil facing the newspaper industry – declines in advertising, job cuts and the raging debate between new and old media – covering stories from WikiLeaks to The White House (we cover Working Title to the Weinsteins – just as important).
The hero of the piece is David Carr, a chain smoking former crack addict who managed to find his way onto the New York Times after cleaning up his act. The finale of the film is his investigative report into the suspect practices of rival company The Tribune, which led to its boss quitting (look out for Screen’s expose into the workings of our rivals shortly).
It’s a masterclass in the art of great reporting and I came out of the cinema vowing to go and do some hard hitting reporting. But then I remembered that I’m at Sheffield Doc/Fest, which is great, but not renowned for its world shattering scandals.
While the film may pay homage to the romantic notions of old school journalism (the media editor even has a poster of Citizen Kane on his wall), it’s clear that there’s no getting away from new media. Even Carr succumbs to Twitter to keep up with his colleague Brian Skelter who earned his desk at the NYT by writing a blog whilst at University.
I’d offer Rossi the chance to come and spend a year at Screen International, but somehow I’m not sure it would make for such great footage…
DogWoof is releasing Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times in the UK on September 9.