The BBC will air U.S. documentary series “Inside The New York Times: The Fourth Estate” later this month. The four-part documentary was made for U.S. premium cabler Showtime and follows the workings of the prestigious paper through the first 12 months of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Trump has taken aim at the paper, often referring to it as “the failing New York Times.” Oscar-nominated Liz Garbus (“What Happened, Miss Simone?”) made the series, which, as well as looking at the relationship with the president, delves into reporting in the digital age and the round-the-clock news cycle.
The first episode of the series was the closing-night selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. In its review, Variety said the “inside look at how The New York Times covers the Trump presidency will please news junkies, but it’s more about process than fire and fury.” In its own review, The New York Times said: “’The Fourth Estate’ is a competent but incomplete peek inside The Times.”
The opening installment looks at the first 100 days of the Trump presidency as he labels The New York Times “the enemy of the people.” The second part covers the rapid turnover of staff in the White House and allegations about the Trump campaign and Russia. Episode 3 includes the Times’ coverage of the violent protests in Charlottesville. In the final chapter, the paper takes stock of its coverage and looks at the latest developments in the Trump story for 2018.
“This is a stunning series giving remarkable access to The New York Times editorial team during the turbulent early months of Trump’s presidency,” said Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two. “At a time when so many of the mainstream media misread the mood in the USA and beyond, this series offers a candid, shocking and illuminating exploration of the shifting relationship between journalism and political power.”
The series was produced by Radical Media and Moxie Firecracker Films Production, in association with Impact Partners and Showtime Documentary Films.