Page One: Inside the New York Times

Rated 2.0

Andrew Rossi’s documentary purports to examine how America’s “newspaper of record” has been coping with recent challenges to its business model and cultural authority. Having shrewdly looked in on the Times’ still-young media desk, Rossi posits a generational conflict between ornery old-school columnist David Carr and blogger-cum-reporter Brian Stelter, but can’t muster enough critical distance to put their respective senses of entitlement in perspective. Worse, Page One has too few scenes of news judgment articulated, whether it concerns war coverage, battles between media conglomerates or a contemporary comprehension of public trust. Rossi pays homage to what we can understand as traditional newsroom values—curiosity, conscientiousness, critical thinking—but his own attention span seems tellingly ruined. This is less fly on the wall than fly on this and now on that and buzzing around and in your face for a minute and then over there somewhere and finally out the window and forgotten.