Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Paper chasing

By Nate Taylor

In a loud and serious tone, Leon Carter asked us all a question: “Have you guys seen the movie, ‘The Paper’?”

More than half of us had not. As he often does after asking us a question, Mr. Carter shook his head.

As it turned out, the film was valuable because it illustrated Mr. Carter’s point about how newspapers are still competitive and how important that is. I found that interesting because I’d just written a story for our newspaper, The Bulletin, about how competition is waning because of content sharing in the flagging economy.

The movie was a fictional day-in-the-life of a newspaper editor and showed how intensely New York City newspapers compete. The city editor, played by Michael Keaton, spends the entire day trying to scoop his competition on the story of the murder of two bankers, whose death is being unfairly pinned on two teenagers. In short, a lot happens and the climax of the movie is compelling to young journalists.

The movie was very entertaining — even if Sandy Rosenbush was quick to say it was just a movie and that every day in the New York City media is not that competitive. Still, the message was clear: Newspapers, and their sports sections, compete every day.

Mr. Carter wants us to be competitive, and that’s one of the things that gets me excited about journalism. After watching the film, Mr. Carter had another question: “Now, do you want to work in New York City?!” Some, but not all, said yes. As for me, even if I never get to work in that city, I know I’m never going to stop being a competitive reporter.

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