The New York Times film goes on tour: all hail David Carr
A little while ago I went to a screening of ‘Page One: Inside the New York Times’, organised by the paper’s international newspaper the International Herald Tribune. The documentary follows The New York Times’ media desk during a turbulent time in media and raises lots of important questions.
The documentary is directed by Andrew Rossi and is a favourable look at the newspaper between May 2009 and May 2010. It’s a time of mass redundancies (both in the industry at large and at the paper itself) and the rise of Twitter and Wikileaks.
Media reporter David Carr (pictured above) was at the screening I attended and he was as straight talking as he is in the film. He told the audience of 200 media agency buyers, interested parties and journalists what his major scoop of the year, a story about Sam Zell (who was head of the company running newspapers such as the L.A. Times), shows about The New York Times.
In a world where journalists are expected to turn things around in seconds, Carr was given weeks to spend on a story that results in Zell’s resignation. Carr said the fact he was given so much time to work on the story shows the “value of having an organisation that supports its writers and having the resource to do it”.
After the screening one of the International Herald Tribune execs admitted to me it was funny seeing the journalists on The New York Times’ media desk being billed as stars, because it was usually the foreign desks that got that sort of coverage. “The media reporters are not the stars of the newsroom,” I was told.
But the media’s ability to report on foreign, business and political news will depend on finding answers to these questions. If you are interested in the future of media organisations, and newspapers in particular, the documentary is well worth seeing. Even if you feel like you spend enough of your time on the issues at work it is an uplifting tale and the charismatic Carr is an engaging subject.
This evening (1 November) 13 cinemas across the country are hosting special screenings which will be followed by post-film question and answer sessions. They won’t have Mr Carr in attendance but I am told they will have a line up of veritable journalists and tutors keen to debate.
This evening’s screenings are as follows:
London – Greenwich Picturehouse
London – Stratford Picturehouse
London – Clapham Picturehouse
Aberdeen – Belmont Picturehouse
Bath – The Little Theatre
Cambridge – Cambridge Arts Picturehouse
Edinburgh – Cameo Cinema – Rachel Dungar, Lecturer in Broadcast Journalism
Exeter – Picturehouse
Henley-upon-Thames – Regal Picturehouse
Norwich – Cinema City
Oxford – Phoenix Picturehouse
York – City Screen Picturehouse
On 13 November there will be further screenings and Q&A sessions at:
Brighton – Duke of Yorks Picturehouse
Southampton – Harbour Lights Picturehouse