Thursday, 24 May 2012

Film aims to give voice to laid-off print journalists

Adam Chadwick, a filmmaker and former staffer at The New York Times who was laid-off in 2009, is trying to raise funds from the public to complete a documentary on the crisis in the US newspaper industry.

The project is  called "Fit to Print" - you can see a promo clip here - and aims to be a feature-length documentary on the crisis and the changing dynamics of investigative reporting in the US.

This synopsis of the film may ring some bells in the UK: "Through interviews with former executives at the leading newspaper companies, we illustrate a change in business practises, beginning in the 1960s.

"Newspapers became less a public service than a business enterprise designed to please stockholders. Unfortunately, newspaper companies historically neglected investment in new technologies and expanded classified advertising online despite direct proposals from major internet search engine companies and advertising entrepreneurs. They missed their opportunity and have cut their staffs to compensate for the monetary losses."

Adam says: "This is an independent film that I have been working on for the past three years. It examines newspapers all across the U.S. and the threat to local watchdog reporting as staffs and resources are cut.

"This film is being made on a shoestring budget by myself and other former newspaper staffers, hoping to give voice to the thousands of newsroom employees laid-off over the past several years, while examining the light at the end of the tunnel for the industry through organisations such as ProPublica, Voice of San Diego and other start-ups."

Included in the promo clip is David Barstow from the The New York Times, Bob Kaiser from The Washington Post, Laura Frank from the now defunct Rocky Mountain News and other journalists from across the US.

One interviewee says that between 20,000 to 40,000 journalists have been laid-off in the US.
  • Surprised no tv or film companies are making a similar film about the newspaper crisis in the UK, or are they?

No comments: