DOCUMENTARY; 1hr 28min
DIRECTED BY: Andrew Rossi
A matter of opinion: Carr
How relevant are American daily newspapers — and by association, daily newspapers in general — in the information era of YouTube, Twitter, WikiLeaks and Gawker, when everyone with Internet access is a potential reporter? Director Andrew Rossi spent a year observing the venerable New York Times Manhattan newsroom staff, a hardcore crew under daily pressure. They’re formidably switched-on in a loyally dedicated and understated sort of way, but the star of every shot is columnist and former addict David Carr. Rasping pugnaciously through an interview, reflecting on his turbulent past or dealing with the slick prevalence of the new media, the guy is a pistol — and no stranger to a smoking gun.
But are everyone’s combined talents enough to keep the ship afloat when survival in a fluid marketplace is so focused on immediacy and innovation? With newspaper advertising revenue plummeting, layoffs a widespread reality and the publications themselves sometimes fallible in their reportage, like everyone else, the Times must jockey to stay in the game. Rossi’s insider’s view of the pressures involved in that doesn’t make for a puff piece. Then again, keeping current in the undercut-and-thrust arena of today’s news dissemination isn’t a business to be taken lightly.