Page One

Posted: January 6, 2012 in Fav Stuff, History Stuff
Tags: , , , ,

The war on paper is upon us. Technology is fighting alongside its “Save the trees” friends. Page one of this tale, involves a mighty Newspaper giant wielding its worthy words which are slowly turning to expensive, recycled dust. Is the New York Times soon to be no more?

Page one, a documentary which looks behind the scenes of the New York Times for one year, tries to find the answer to this question.  With falling revenue and readership, a battle between old and new has begun. There have been losses in sales and advertising, job cuts and a large number of Newspapers have closed down. Is print out and online in?

The most fascination and exhilarating outcome of this documentary was old school hack David Carr. A brilliant investigative journalist, who prefers to use older methods of investigation such as reliable offline sources, the telephone and leaving his desk to find out more. The new, younger hack Brian Stelter uses two computers simultaneously while sourcing information on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Blogs and various Websites etc. Carr swears he is a robot sent out to destroy him. And so the battle begins…

Carr effectively points out that many newspaper websites aggregate their stories. In other words, they source them from somewhere else online. Usually, it is the New York Times website that is the original source. His point is compelling. Who is on the ground doing the dirty work? Everyone seems to be at their computer researching stories and not getting their hands dirty. News will always exist but now there is less time and money to research a story which results in more pressure and less quality reporting. Print may be dying out but will online provide the same quality?

This documentary effectively questions and attempts to answer where online news will take us. Greed, corruption and abuse of power will always exist but are we willing to pay to hear about it online? We are used to reading online for free. Who will enforce the standards of justice, fairness and integrity with objectivity?

I, for one, hope it will be David Carr.

  1. Fab blog as always Kelly and a great point being made here. Technology may be here to stay, but finding the actual source of the matter/research/ will always be the most important issue for me anyway. If so many journos are replicating news items without accrediting the original writer, then there is a lack of integrity about the whole system. I believe that is about advertisers, readership and revenue. The bottom line as in any other business is the most important element, and if the product that you are selling ( news) can be found cheaper someplace else- you have got to find new ways of keeping your customer.

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