Page One: Inside the New York Times (2011)

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Interesting inside look at the news business

A bit unbalanced with obviously a lot of pro-Times

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Page One:  Inside the New York Times

Studio:  Magnolia Pictures

Genre(s):  Documentary

Release Date(s):  January 23, 2011 (Sundance)/June 17, 2011 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


Going Behind the scene in the one of the biggest news organizations

Newspapers everywhere are dying, and the once powerful American institution The New York Times is no exception.  As the entire industry begins to chance, The New York Times tries to find way to adjust and change in the modern world while competing with online publications.  Follow The New York Times through some of the big stories like Wiki-Leaks, massive staff cuts, the decision to charge for online content, and the problems at Tribune.

Directed by Andrew Rossi, Page One:  Inside the New York Times is an interesting look at where media is today.  With a premiere at Sundance, the documentary follows a core group of writers to demonstrate how not only the news is written, but how The New York Times actually “makes” the news.  The film was mostly received with positive reviews from critics and received a nationwide theater run.


David Carr…gets it done the “old” way!

The story is very much “love The New York Times”, but it does present balance.  It shows The Times’ faults and how it can even be fallible.  It shows how its involvement help push the United States into war and how many even see it as an outdated format.  Being in media myself, it is interesting to see how newspapers are struggling with the modern “instant news” of today’s society.  What once needed multiple sources to confirm can be released on Facebook, Twitter, and various soft media outlets without basis and then back-up later by multiple reports from online readers.  Newspapers and television news (which of course The NYT practically laughs at) must back-up a story first causing a great delay.

The movie is filled with interesting writers and reporters.  From the new media junkie Brian Stelter who has embraced the internet to the outwardly strange and different David Carr who is hesitant to make the change, the movie shows an interesting span of traditional and “new” reports.  Despite focusing on specific reporters, it does show (a bit unbalanced) how cutbacks have altered the time and how even twenty+ year vets aren’t immune to the business of media.


Brian Stelter…the “new” face of media?

One of the more interesting aspects is how sources (?) like Wiki-Leaks are changing the face of news.  As clearly stated in the movie, Wiki-Leaks doesn’t need The New York Times, but not covering Wiki-Leaks is not covering news.  The Wiki-Leaks will be released regardless of the responsibility or traditional news outlets involvement.  There is a debate in the documentary if Wiki-Leaks is a partner, a news outlet, or a source and what it means to “team” with them.

The other interesting subjects are the release of the iPad and the debate to charge for online content.  During the course of the movie, iPad’s release shows potential to “save” newspapers by providing a more relevant format for the traditional format.  With more online access for people, The New York Times opts to charge people to look at the news online…it is met with great argument from loyal readers, but recent reports have indicated the gamble has paid off.

Page One:  Inside the New York Times is a great behind the scenes look at people that make the news.  As they say in the documentary, The New York Times holds a special place in that many other new sources look to The New York Times for their stories and what it could mean if The NYT were to die.  This makes the documentary a must for anyone interested or involved in the news business, but it also makes you think the next time you log onto for a bit of online news.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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