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Page One: Inside the New York Times, Andrew Rossi (2011)

No one with any interest in current events could fail to understand that information moves differently now than it did ten years ago, or ten months ago, or maybe even ten minutes ago. These changes have put obvious and well-documented pressure on “legacy media” companies like the Times. In July of 2002, NYT was trading at $50 a share; this past July it was at about $8 a share.

But you know all that. This movie goes over that territory, but where it really shines is in its depiction not of the Times as a company, but the Times as a collection of individuals. There are scenes where people gather around someone’s desk and hash out what the ethical course of action is vis a vis some situation that’s just arisen. People have principled disagreements, come to conclusions, act on them, and move forward. I found such moments heartening. Whatever else you want to say about the media, the Times, our desperate age, etc., you can’t help but come away from this feeling like these people are truly acting in good faith and truly on a mission for good. They’re probably doomed.

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