Stop what you are doing right now. Head to iTunes and rent a copy of Page One: Inside The New York Times.
The movie tells the story of the fragmentation of media over a 12-month period spent in the news room at The Times.
Its not going to win any Pulitzer Prizes for reporting or storytelling but there are some wonderful moments as it fronts up to the issues that traditional news organisations are facing as ad revenue declines and audiences move from print to digital editions.
Times’ staffer David Carr debates the future of media on televised panel with Michael Wolff creator of the news aggregator Newser. Carr holds up a version of the Newser homepage with content from traditional media outlets removed.
It’s a neat stunt that shows without mainstream media there wouldn’t be a lot of content on Newser.
We watch as journalists’ debate the role of Wikileaks as a news organisation. The New York Times was one of three news organisations to partner with Wikileaks in the release of US cables in November last year.
We learn that US media organisations can no longer afford to travel with the US Presidential and that coverage of the election next year will inevitably be dumbed down as veteran reporters are replaced by “24-years olds with video cameras”.
At a time when the future of the news and the role of user generated content is an oft debated issue the movie shows the crucial role of editors to sift and validate as part of the news process.