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Fit to Print Independent Film

by Adam Chadwick
(New York )

Fit to Print Independent Film

Fit to Print Independent Film

"Fit to Print" is a documentary film that takes the viewer on a behind-the-scenes journey through the current upheaval of the newspaper industry. As subscriptions dwindle and ad revenues decline, newspapers are scrambling to establish their relevance. The newspaper business lost $7.5 billion in ad revenues in 2008, and has reduced spending on journalism by $1.6 billion per year over the past several years. But what does this mean for the individuals whose lives have been turned upside down by the crisis? If the newspaper business is changing, how are journalism school graduates adapting? What happens to career reporters after being laid off? How are newspaper publishers surviving? What is being lost as new media replaces old?


“Fit to Print" will ask these questions and tell America's newspaper story. It will take the audience through the upheaval in the newspaper business through three very distinct perspectives: A newspaper publisher, a career reporter and a journalism school graduate. Anybody who cares about journalism has been exposed to a spate of stories and figures about the decline of the traditional newspaper business. This has spurred much debate about what comes next and how to adapt journalism to a world in which the digital word is quickly replacing the printed word.


But such stories are mostly abstractions. Newspapers are a business, they are crucial to the functioning of a democratic society, but they are often more than that. They are a way of life for those who are a part of them – ordinary individuals contending with turbulent times. “Fit to Print” will tell their story, which is rarely seen in any broadcast news brief.


The numbers so far this year have been startling. Over 100 newspapers have been shuttered. Over 10,000 newspaper jobs have been lost. Print ad sales fell by nearly a third in the first quarter alone. Of the top 25 newspapers, 23 reported circulation declines between 7% and 20%. “Fit to Print” will show the viewer the human side of these numbers. It will ask the question: what is being lost, and what comes next?

adamgchadwick at gmail.com

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