This documentary series about The New York Times in the Trump era illuminates critical issues facing journalism today. A chief task for The Times, long considered the “newspaper of record,” is to find the best way to accurately and honestly cover this unconventional president, even as he tries to undermine them. Through extraordinary access and exclusive interviews, Oscar nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus chronicles the tenacious men and women in the trenches who are fighting for the freedom of the press and America’s right to know.
The Fourth Estate ep. 1 – The First 100 Days
The first three months of Trump’s presidency tests the stamina of the political reporters at The New York Times as they adapt to a nonstop news cycle, an unpredictable White House, and the President calling them “the enemy of the people.”
As Donald J Trump takes the oath of office, the New York Times’s New York and Washington bureaus prepare to cover an administration unlike any other. The role that Russia played in the 2016 election quickly emerges as a storyline that will continue to unfold, consuming a troop of investigative journalists for the year to come. In this fiercely competitive environment, the Times and the Washington Post vie for scoops, while overtaxed journalists work to develop sources inside a volatile administration.
Tension boils over when the president calls the media ‘the enemy of the people’. Remarkably, FBI director James Comey announces an active federal investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Meanwhile, the paper faces economic challenges as they continue to adapt to a digital world. In a time when the news never stops, reporters scramble to break the stories vital to the future of democracy before the pace and the scrutiny break them.
The documentary combines running office footage with interviews of investigative reporters and their bosses as they go about their work.