"Fit to Print" is a documentary film which chronicles the struggles faced by many traditional print reporters as readership drops and jobs are lost.
Thomas Jefferson once said: "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. ” It makes you wonder what he might think today.
The traditional newspaper reporter as we know it, may soon become a thing of the past, a product of a bygone era replaced by modern technology and fueled by the average consumers seemingly endless appetite for on-demand-24/7-news.
The newspaper industry has recently been in rapid decline says the documentary. Newspapers across the country have laid-off approximately 15,000 people since 2008 and over the past seven years, reduced its spending on journalism by nearly $1.6 billion per year.
"Fit to Print" takes a look at this trend through the eyes of three investigative reporters -- Stephen Janis, Andrew Schneider and Laura Frank -- as they struggle to move on with their lives and careers after being laid-off from the jobs they once loved.
The three journalist speak out as they try to express their feelings on the potential death of news print and the loss of their jobs. One of them recalled how she felt at the time of her firing, saying: "It was like being told you have cancer and you have two months live."
Another reporter in the film said: "Suddenly, half the people you work with in your profession are gone."
The documentary also gives a behind-the-scenes look at some of the top selling newspapers around the country, interviewing staffers at publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the St. Pete Times (now the Tampa Bay Times.)
The concept for "Fit to Print" originated from the mind of former New York Times copy editor Adam Chadwick. Chadwick came up with the idea in 2009 after he found himself one of the unemployed journalists he chronicles in the film.
Chadwick explained his reason for making the film and his hope for the future: "This film is being made on a shoestring budget by myself and other former newspaper staffers, hoping to give voice to the thousands of newsroom employees laid-off over the past several years, while examining the light at the end of the tunnel for the industry through start-up organizations and smaller newspapers."
To read more about "Fit to Print" and their project you can visit their website on wordpress.com. The site provides interviews on the subject and links to articles and blogs written about the state of print news today.