You don’t have to be particularly interested in Journalism to know that newspapers are struggling to survive. Advertisement revenue has gone down, readers are not willing to pay for journalism any more, because they are used to read it online for free. At the moment there is – despite the i-pad – no business-model for journalism, that is going to sustain itself in the future.
This film is about an institution and a symbol for excellence in Journalism in the US (and possibly in the world). It has been setting the Agenda for news reporting all over the world, it exposed the Watergate Scandal and delivered reliable reporting on wars from all over the world. “Page One” is a documentary that gives an insight into the New York Times and its staff over the course of an year.
It rather raises questions about the future of journalism than answering them, leaving the viewer with plenty to think about. Can Wikileaks be efficient in protecting us from corruption in politics? Can an amateur youtube video portray the situation in Afgahnistan better than a reporter? Can Blogs substitute full-time- paid-for journalism? Are Blogs a reliable source of information?
As a journalism student this topic couldn’t be more interesting for me.
First of all and it is also quite vitally portrayed in “Page One”: News doesn’t die. There will always be a demand for information. It has always been like that and in fact, I think that the demand is growing rather than declining. What changes is probably the way we consume news and I agree that we are as one of the speakers in the documentary puts it “in a dangerous moment in american journalism”.
I don’t think that newspapers will disappear, but I don’t believe that Blogs are the answer to Journalism. Yes, there are excellent Blogs on the internet and there are people who earn 6- figure salaries from blogging but there are way too few well-paid bloggers to provide enough coverage. Also for exposing scandals and reporting from war-zones journalists need an institution behind them, who protects them from court trials and helps with visas and in emmergencies. There is no way a single person or even a small team could substitute that. It’s also doubtable if someone will make the effort to investigate in government or cooperate corruption or go to war zones without a salary. Yet, I don’t have an answer how journalism will be paid for in the future. If you’re interested in these question or if you consider working as a journalist, in media or in politics this is definitely a film that shouldn’t be missed.