DVD Review – Page One: Inside The New York Times

Dir: Andrew Rossi

The Documentary:
Page One is a documentary about The New York Times and how the organisation has managed to stay afloat in these times where digital media and social networking have taken over. It shows how it is difficult for newspapers and printed media to survive, with so many prominent ones having to close shop. It also shows how online social networking has taken off and people are getting their news as it happens. It gives us a bit of an inside look at its history and how it works today, a long with some of the people who work there and how they managed themselves.

Sounds interesting right? Some of it is, however there really isn’t much meat here. There should be so much more to say and so much more food for thought to be presented with where we are at in this digital age and why it is important for places like The New York Times to strive. But they really missed the ball on that one, and honestly at times this was rather dull and not exactly engaging. It is a shame because I really was excited to check this out, as I am quite fascinated by the over all subject. There was more fluff than anything solid, once it really started to uncover something interesting it would leave it and not dig any further. This all just seems a bit wrong when you consider the main subjects here are journalists, who dig up stories every single day, why couldn’t the filmmakers go that far?

It isn’t all a waste, what is there is worth watching for the most part. The topics brought up will give you something to think about, and front and center is the whole WikiLeaks scandel with Julian Assange. That whole subject is interesting, and this is where the film is really at its strongest, because it brought up so many moral issues and it engaged the journalists on a level that probably hadn’t been before. Yes I would have liked it to have shown more, but at least we got something. The other aspect that the film focuses on is David Carr, someone who seems like a fascinating character but I think was handled all wrong here. Sure we see how he works and a bit of whom he is, but there is so much more there and I was waiting for it to be uncovered and it never was.

This is a mixed bag; it was well made for the most part, with it being at a reasonable running time and a taste of different things offered. It is well edited and put together, that part is fine, it is technically sound. But it fails at digging deeper and giving us more, because it opens up that door and never goes through it. I am sure there are those who will enjoy this and get something out of it, but for me it didn’t quite deliver on what I wanted to see in conjunction with the teases I was given.

The Australian DVD 
Audio/Video: The video is a 1:85.1 widescreen presentation, the quality is great and we get a nice clear picture. Audio is presented with Dolby Digital 5.1 the audio track is admirable, and I had no issues with it.

Overall Rating