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The Paper

By chronicling for a year the publication of Penn State University's Daily Collegian one of the nation's leading student newspapers, with a 200-person staff and a circulation rivaling that of many small-town newspapers this documentary reveals the many challenges and issues with which young journalists must contend.



These range from ethical considerations, sensitizing reporters and editors to diversity issues, and dealing with circulation woes, to struggling for access to news sources and, above all, trying to determine whether they should be informing or entertaining their readers. Utilizing a cinéma-vérité style, THE PAPER follows the editors and reporters of The Daily Collegian through their everyday routines, sits in on editorial meetings, follows reporters as they cover stories, attends classroom sessions where new reporters are trained, and interviews staff members about their particular frustrations and disappointments.



Interweaving the drama of pressure-cooker journalism with the energy and idealism of young people, THE PAPER explores the media from the fresh perspective of tomorrow's journalists. But the young reporters' dilemmas and decisions raise complicated questions about the role of the press in society. Do you lure readers by entertaining them or offering hard news? How can the media deliver the news when obstructed by wary public officials and misleading public relations campaigns? What is the media's responsibility to serve the public interest in all its diversity?

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