Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times Reviews
It's not quite the same thrill as glimpsing the man behind the curtain of the great and powerful Oz, but for journalism junkies, the fascination of Page One: Inside The New York Times is something like that.
If you're reading this article, chances are you have at least a passing interest in the role and value of newspapers. You like original reporting and writing enough to pay for it, online or on newsprint. And you'd probably enjoy Page One.
It ignores the many other things the paper does well, such as foreign, financial, and national-affairs reporting, and Rossi misses the underbrush, the secret life and murmured music of the place.
As an avid media watcher, I didn't come away from this with any new insights, but the movie is a pretty good snapshot of the daily newspaper business in transition and turmoil.
Page One centers around the Times' media desk, all these big, breaking stories - Iraq, WikiLeaks - come and go, offering drama and distraction, but little in the way of coherence and closure.
This efficiently assembled primer hardly counts as a revelatory dispatch from the old-vs.-new-media frontlines, but its ideas will engross anyone for whom the viability of traditional newsgathering remains a matter of pressing significance.
Page One, Andrew Rossi's informative, timely, but never quite revelatory documentary about the financial struggles at the New York Times, has the almost-greatness of an opportunity missed.
A film promising to take us behind the scenes of the Times for a year should show us more of the rationale behind the paper's big choices instead of viewing them from the remove of reporters.