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Movie Review: Page One

Alternate Title: End Times?

Story: I have been reading the New York Times since I was a kid. It was the paper of record in my home while growing up (other than the now defunct Brooklyn Eagle). Now, early each morning, as I take Benny the dog out, I glance down to read the headlines (dropped on my doorstep) and see what photo is on page one. It is part of my ritual and my life would be much emptier without that paper. That is the heart of this story. What would life be like without the New York Times? As newspapers across the country are folding it is a frightening concept to a news junkie such as myself. Director Andrew Rossi tackles this problem in a fascinating behind the scenes look at the Grey Lady.

Director Andrew Rossi (written by Kate Novack and Mr. Rossi) were granted unprecedented access to the New York Times during the year 2010. They spend most of it in the Media department.

Advertising revenue has dropped dramatically for newspapers. Newspapers did not see the impact of personal ads and classifieds being wooed away by the Internet. Websites 'appropriate' the hard work of newspaper journalism and link it on their sites. How can journalism survive if no one is willing to do the difficult job of getting the story with investigative journalists. This takes manpower, time and money. Sadly, many younger people are so used to getting everything for free on the internet they are not willing to pay to read a story. This has recently changed with the NY Times now (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/opinion/l18times.html) transitioning to a pay as you go system (unless you are a daily subscriber like me).

The film covers too many stories and topics (including the shameful reporting of Judith Miller's run-up to the Iraq War coverage, Jason Blair, Wikileaks and more) but the general idea of how this paper (and others) can survive in the age of the Internet stays true and scary. Don't stop the presses!

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwTMFXgf95c

Acting: This is a documentary so this category does not apply. However - if there is a star - it is media critic David Carr.

Predilection: I love the New York Times.

Trivia: The New York Times is a newspaper founded, and continuously published in New York City, since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization. Its website is the most popular American online newspaper website, receiving more than 30 million unique visitors per month.

Critters: none

Opening Titles: All titles are at the end.

Theater Audience: Two other people.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: I squirm at the idea of a world without the New York Times.

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout.

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: 90 minutes