Wednesday, July 27, 2011

[PDI] York PC 112: Page One: Inside The New York Times - A Documentary Film...

...that goes in-depth into the day-to-day operations of the New York Times.

Sourced from Google:

[image: Page One: Inside the New York Times]
Page One: Inside the New York Times
‎1hr 28min‎‎ - Rated R‎‎ - Documentary‎
Director: Andrew Rossi - Cast: David Carr - : [image: Rated 4.0 out of 5.0]

"Page One" unfolds over the course of 2010, one of the most tumultuous years
for print journalism since the invention of the printing press, with online
media continuing to reinvent the rules and some of the oldest print
newspaper institutions in the country forced to close or drastically reduce
their operations. Along the course of the year, director Rossi was given
unprecedented access to the editorial process at "The New York Times."

Notes from Dan:

My wife and I just saw this film at the Glenn Art Theater in downtown Glenn
Ellyn. The film is excellent, and kept me interested all the way through. It
raises several questions, most of which have yet to be answered. I strongly
recommend seeing this film.

The largest question that the movie raises is whether or not large ol-media
organizations such as the New York Times will be able to survive, and also
whether it matters if they survive or not. There are several arguments on
both sides, with very good points.

Personally, I think the answer on whether it matters if these institutions
survive lies somewhere between the extremes of letting them die and keeping
them in print. I think the print edition is accessible to those who can't
afford technology, or are unable to adapt to modern web technology. I also
think that a billion bloggers still can't match the focused investigative
depth that a full-blown newsroom of the Times' caliber is capable of. There
are very few in online media who can come close to the access and full-time
devotion to a story such institutions are capable of.

Of course, those arguments only hold true if such institutions decide to
follow a given story, and if they verify that their sources are in-fact
accurate and that trusted insiders aren't abusing the institution. Judith
Miller and the run-up to the Iraq war come to mind. The cost of that
particular debacle to U.S., Iraqi, and international society has been
immense and horrific.

Old media also can't effectively cover the full breadth of global news or
match the flash-speed of an online story gone viral. It's like comparing a
battery of brilliant spotlights to the flashes of lightning in a massive
thunderstorm system. They just aren't the same thing. One is
tightly-controlled and narrowly focused, the other is wide-ranging and
intensely-fast, but also erratic and un-controlled, without duration and

Trust is an issue with both forms of media, explicitly in the case of
internet stories, and implicitly in the case of corporate-owned (and likely
corporate-controlled) monolithic old-media. After all, it is just as easy to
twist truth in reporting by omission as it is by saying outright falsehoods,
and both are dangerous things in an open society that is truly

My personal leaning is to have as wide as possible scope of headline
information so that I can choose what to follow in-depth myself. I think
this "big-picture" view is indispensable, and that the past ten years have
exposed many things that are deep internal threats to our democracy and way
of life, and even more importantly, to our future survivability as a

If we were still operating in an era entirely dominated by large-scale
monolithic one-way media, there are many things that the large corporations
and extremely-wealthy would have kept hidden from the masses. Without the
resources of those institutions, we would lose the deep investigative power
of a fully-developed newsroom. In the end, I think it will be necessary to
strip the old-media from corporate hands and merge it with the new-media
flash-mob zeitgeist of global information.

The interesting thing is, it seems to me that varying forms of exactly that
are starting to come into being. The old-media and the top-of-class
new-media are coming up with their own versions of just such organizations.
It's the financial structures that have yet to be figured out in the most
obsessive-compulsive capitalist society ever to exist on Earth. Even the
Ferenghi on Star Trek would have a hard time competing with modern American
and trans-national corporations.

Today, however, and in the next few years to come, the story remains to be
fully-written. There are multiple plots involved, and it boils down to the
very large few and the very small many, and how they interact. I believe
that if either fails to value and support the other sufficiently, the whole
system will break down.

Given the stories I'm seeing in all forms of media over the last few years,
I think that most people in either paradigm are in for some
seriously-hard-knock schooling on this point. I sincerely hope I'm wrong,
and that things will find a way to mesh that everyone can live with.

All the best,

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