A film with a ‘true story’
Director Andrew Rossi’s Page One: Inside the New York Times spends ayear behind the scenes in the Eighth Avenue skyscraper home of the“paper of record” — most of it with Times staffer David Carr.
Director Andrew Rossi’s Page One: Inside the New York Times spends a year behind the scenes in the Eighth Avenue skyscraper home of the “paper of record” — most of it with Times staffer David Carr.
A media and culture columnist for the Times and the man behind the paper’s Awards Season blog, the Carpetbagger, Carr makes for compelling viewing. He sat down with Metro to discuss the film, how he’s portrayed and finding a digital home for newspapers.
The film portrays you as somewhat of a technological Luddite, compared to your younger colleagues. But that’s not really accurate, is it?
I’m a digital adopter, not native. The thing is that movies — Andrew made a movie-movie, and did I like everything in that movie? No, I did not.
Did I think everything was just so? No.
Did he tell a true story about what we did? Yeah, he did.
I’m positioned in the film as a defender of the New York Times, which then translates to defender of old media, even though I’ve spent the past 10 years sort of on the vanguard.
The film features Rupert Murdoch extolling the iPad as the future of newspaper. What do you think of what’s become of his iPad venture, the Daily?
I was a firm believer that it was a place for them to put time and energy, and that it was a good muscle for an organization of that size — some of whose products I admire.
I think the face-plant has been unbelievable. It’s not part of the ecosystem of the web. And here’s the thing — It’s not like these guys don’t know what they’re doing.
I said that Rupert Murdoch would ruin the Wall Street Journal — he has not. They rolled it toward being a national newspaper, and when I’m travelling in the Midwest, I see the Journal everywhere in places I didn’t.
So I don’t want to act like they’re buffoons. But the Daily, which I thought was a really good idea, I think turns out to be a really bad idea.
So what are your thoughts on Metro?
It gets read where I am. I think they’ve mastered the art of presentation.
I wonder about the ad economics of how sticky your advertisers think you are.
But, you know, it went from being decoration on the subways to something that gets read, gets looked at.
And I’m from weeklies, so I understand the free model. I’ve been involved in it for a long, long time, and it’s not a bad place to be in when everybody thinks information should be free anyway.