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. 2 – The Trump Bump
Shortly after FBI director James Comey is fired by President Trump, the New York Times journalist Michael Schmidt is on to a huge scoop regarding Comey’s memos about his meetings with Trump – one which will have ongoing reverberations. The appointment of a special counsel marks an important new turn in what has already been a historic year. Things are made more dire when the Times reveals details of a secret meeting between members of the Trump campaign team and a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin. And there is heavy turnover at the White House, reported by star White House correspondent Maggie Haberman.
But even as the Times drives this shocking flow of new information, it continues to squarely face its own inner challenges. Advertising dollars are shrinking, digital is replacing print, podcasts are now synonymous with the paper, and Twitter is how news breaks first. The executive editor must make difficult changes that break with tradition. Can the New York Times adapt to a digital future without losing something vital in the process?