Backstage at the New York Times
The AUBG Documentary Movie Club organized the screening of “Page One,” a documentary about the life of one of the world’s leading newspapers in times of changing technology and accelerating information, on Feb. 23. Students had the opportunity to learn “backstage” details from the media industry.
The event began with a surprise from the organizers. AUBG students Bojan Mircheski and Natalia Shirshova presented a film made by them for the AUBG Short Film Festival. The film told the story of an AUBG student who encountered a mystical incident after a crazy night out.
“Since we missed the deadline, we kindly asked people from the Doc Club to screen it,” Mircheski said. “ it was not a documentary, it was a fiction movie. Me and Natalija really like documentaries, but we wanted to do a short fiction movie and to motivate other creative minds to do the same. We included many stories from our homes and tried to apply those stories here at AUBG.”
After that, prof. Mark Wollemann gave a short introductory speech, which was followed by the screening of the documentary.
Andrew Rossi, the director of “Page One,” followed what was happening in the New York Times’ newsroom for a whole year. His documentary describes the everyday life in the Times and the challenges that print media is facing now, in the so-called transition period. It shows how the newspaper, once the most credible medium in the world, has to fight for its content today.
The central figure of the film is David Carr, the Times former media equation columnist. Prof. Wollemann said that Carr has recently passed away, so the screening of the movie was also in his honor. Through his eyes, the viewer can see the main problems faced by the print media today. Among them are the technological progress, the easy access to information online. the decreased newspaper advertising, the mistakes of the past, and the diminishing number of staff members in the newsroom. All these factors are the reasons why many critics are skeptical about the role of the New York Times and even question the very existence of it in the future. Against all odds, however, the newspaper keeps on going forward. Its supporters are sure the Times is still leading the game.
Students found the screening to be a useful illustration of what they, as journalists, might have to deal with in the future.
“Since, this is the sphere in which I would like to work one day, the movie had definitely an educational effect on me,” Zhaklin Dib, a first-year student, said. “It was worth watching and I recommend it to each student who is interested in the business of journalism.”
Photos from the event are courtesy of AUBG Daily’s Owl Mina Dobreva.