Page One: Inside The New York Times

Directed by Andrew Rossi
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
June 16, 2011

Is print in ashes? or have reports of its death been grossly exaggerated? Page One, a potent and provocative documentary from Andrew Rossi, looks at the carnage done to newsprint by the rise of the Internet, the plunging of ad revenues and circulation, and the firings that left blood on the walls of old media. Granted rare access for more than a year to the newspaper of record, the great Gray Lady called The New York Times, Rossi operates out of the media desk established in 2008. We see media editor Bruce Headlam confer with reporters, including new-media recruit Brian Stelter, Tim Arango and especially David Carr, the gravel-voiced exjunkie whose attack approach — backed up with scrupulous reporting — makes him the hottest print poster boy since Woodward and Bernstein. No one in the Green Lantern Corps can match Carr's takedown of Vice magazine staffers who think they're reporters, the hubris of Tribune Co. chairman Sam Zell and CEO Randy Michaels, or even the iPad ("You know what this reminds me of? A newspaper").

The 12 Must-See Summer Movies — Plus Five Unheralded Gems and Five More to Skip

Rossi lucked out by being around when Wikileaks whistle-blower Julian Assange brought the Times secret documents about the war in Afghanistan, recalling Daniel Ellsberg leaking the Pentagon Papers to the Times in 1971. One difference, says executive editor Bill Keller: "Ellsberg needed us. Wikileaks doesn't." Rossi does tweak the Times for its arrogance and the internal- fraud scandals involving Jayson Blair and Judith Miller. But seeing the Times enter a future geared to compromise its standards is scarier than any horror film. For those of us who read — on smudgy paper or a battery-powered screen — Page One is a vital, indispensable hell-raiser.

Get more news, reviews and interviews from Peter Travers on The Travers Take

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »