Saturday, July 09, 2011

News, New York Times, and a Movie about Publishing

Executive Summary: A review of "Page One: Inside the New York Times"- a documentary that provides an inside view of a market leader in publishing through some changes in the industry. From the desk of If-It-Sounds-Like-the-NYT-But-Reads-Like-Twitter, It-Really-Isn't-A-Documentary, It-Is-A-Reality-TV-Show.


The last time I posted about a movie was the opening weekend of Iron Man, over 3 years ago. This one is about "Page One: Inside the New York Times", a "fly on the wall" account of a desk at the New York Times.

The Key Theme: Challenges

The movie gets three challenges facing the New York Times right:

1. A Market Leader's Core Differentiation in a Seemingly Fragmented Ecosystem:
Where does the paper, and in comparison, the rest world, stand on news accountability, quality, objectivity, and transparency? The movie touches upon the difference between Journalism and activism, in the Wikileaks context.

2. The Survival of Publishing as a Well Oiled "Machine", and Its Metamorphosis :
The documentary covers Der Spiegel, Guardian and NYT partnering with WikiLeaks, and alludes to the shifting sands of the publishing ecosystem where a publisher could be a source.

3. Funding to Sustain a News Enterprise:
It touches upon the launch of the metered paywall at NYT (in line with the FT, and the Economist).

Finally...  The Opinion

As for the documentary experience, it stays true to the fly on the wall theme. Its like what reading Twitter is to reading the NYT. However, it does a great job of juxtaposing current changes in the industry impact the market leader, against its storied past.

If you are looking for more detail on the trends, you would be better served by visiting the Economist website (or reading this week's print edition) here: More on that to follow.

At worst, you may end up feeling like you watched some reality TV about a desk at the NYT, and even then, you will find a memorable line or two. "A textured life", for one.

What do you think? If you saw the movie, what did you think?

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