by Doug Duke
Another week at the KCET Summer Series and another film that blew me away! PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES is remarkable! As soon as it opens, it starts with a montage showing all the newspapers that had to close down due to irrelevance, basically. Newspapers are dinosaurs just like VHS, CDs, and soon DVDs. We have the internet now. We are digital. Who needs a physical newspaper? At first I thought, oh boo hoo the newspapers are closing, big deal. Perhaps they should have been more informative and actually cared about giving us real news. THEN, the film starts…
It’s a documentary but it feels like you’re watching one of your favorite single camera shows on TV. The cast of characters is absolutely amazing! First and foremost David Carr! We might as well call him a superstar because that’s exactly what he is in this film. You cannot write characters like this and they didn’t. These are real people and more importantly REAL reporters.
The film brings up real questions and is very informative, capturing moments from WikiLeaks and pulling troops out of Iraq. It shows how the best newspaper in the country kept its head above water and kept fighting to the very end to stay alive. Spoiler: They succeeded!
People don’t want a physical paper anymore? Fine; read it on your iPad, your home computer, hell, even your phone these days. Let’s not forget Twitter as well. Brian Stelter brought up an amazing point about Twitter. He cannot believe everyone in journalism is not on Twitter. You can read about something immediately at that moment and not have to wait until the next morning to read your paper. That’s the world we are in today. Information at our finger tips every second of the day. Things are happening and happening fast.
The film flies by at only 90 minutes. You’ll be so engaged in the characters and the journalism you’ll barely notice. Stelter, for instance, started as a blogger and the Times was so impressed by his work that he eventually got an interview with them and passed all their “tests”. He is now a full time employee of The New York Times. David Carr believes Brain is a robot sent to destroy him. This is all true. See the film, have a ball and get a glimpse inside one of the greatest newsrooms in history.
One might think: Oh, this is a documentary about a newspaper, how boring. You could’t be more wrong. Why not take the time this summer to actually use your brain and learn something? It’ll be okay if you don’t go out and see another one of those superhero films and actually watch something worth your time and knowledge.
I cannot express how much fun I have been having at this series. KCET is amazing! Haven’t been let down yet! Let’s keep it rolling!