What happens when former reporters are no longer able to pursue important investigative journalism? That’s one question that might be answered in the soon-to-come documentary Fit to Print, made by a Adam Chadwick — a staffer laid off from The New York Times in 2009.
The documentary is about the newspaper industry crisis, told in part through voices of those who, like Chadwick, have been laid off. They interviewed reporters, editors and photographers who are among the more than 15,000 newspaper layoffs since 2008. The film is currently in post production.
Chadwick has been working on the film for three years. From his movie’s synopsis:
Fit To Print examines the on-going crisis within the U.S. newspaper industry and its impact on local investigative reporting. The film includes interviews from reporters, staff members, and media experts within several major U.S. newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, among others.
Through interviews with former executives at the leading newspaper companies, we illustrate a change in business practices, 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.