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Page One: Inside the New York Times (2011)Page One: Inside the New York Times (2011)

           Can the New York Times survive? Does it even matter? Dozens of newspapers have disappeared, some of them with hundred-year histories. Advertising revenue has collapsed, circulation has plummeted, and business models have failed in the onslaught of the technical revolutions wrought by the likes of Gawker, HuffPo, Newser, YouTube, Daily Kos, Wikipedia, and numerous other news aggregators. As one savvy staffer complained, "I hear a colleague say they heard a story at noon when I saw it on Twitter last night at midnight. Why do we allow that?!" When Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, it took 22 months from his midnight xeroxing to their eventual publication. No more. Former executive editor Bill Keller admits, "Wikileaks doesn't need us; we need them." He describes his media culture as "grim" and "funereal." Which recognition led to their controversial cooperation with Julian Assange to publish thousands of pages of secret government cables. This documentary is less of a look at the NYT than a brutal gut check on the entire newspaper industry, but it does explore the Times' inbred culture of hubris and denial, failures like cheer leading for the Iraq War (Judith Miller), carelessness (Jayson Blair), and its sense of exceptionalism that makes it vulnerable. This film opens in a printing plant with humongous rolls of paper, monster printing presses, conveyor belts, fork lifts, and delivery trucks. Those days are over. I watched this 90-minute film on Netflix streaming.

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