Gawker to Host Private Screening of ‘Times’ Documentary ‘Page One’

Film casts blog company as paper's antagonist

On the eve of the June 17 release of Page One, Andrew Rossi’s documentary about The New York Times’ ongoing wrestling match with new media, Gawker Media and Magnolia Pictures will hold a private screening on the rooftop of Gawker’s Manhattan office. The screening will be followed by a panel featuring Rossi, The Atlantic’s Michael Hirschorn, Gizmodo’s Brian Lam, and the two stars of the film: Times media writers David Carr and Brian Stelter.

It's an interesting choice of venue, because, like WikiLeaks and the Huffington Post, Gawker features prominently in Page One as a threat to the Times' very existence.

Gawker's so-called Big Board—the television screen that Nick Denton, a page view obsessive, uses to keep track of what his readers want—is portrayed as the counterpoint to a paper that provides the value of investigative reporting and editorial curation, without too much regard for page views. At one point in the film, Denton essentially says: Sorry, but no one cares about corruption in Albany. 

Both Hirschorn and Lam also appear in Rossi’s film as counterweights to the Times. In 2009, Hirschorn wrote an essay for The Atlantic called “End Times: Can America’s paper of record survive the death of newsprint? Can journalism?” which is treated with a great deal of skepticism in the film. Lam is the editorial director of Gizmodo, Gawker Media’s technology site.