Modern Love to hit Hollywood via the NY Times

His Girl FridayThere was bad news and good news for the New York Times yesterday. The bad news is that the organization will cut 100 newsroom jobs thanks to the decline in advertising revenue.

The good news from Variety, however, is that the organization also cut a deal with Columbia Pictures to give the studio first crack at turning specific stories from its “Modern Love” column into feature films.

This is not the first deal for the newspaper for this column, as HBO will be developing a TV series around it, using the hook of a fictional male editor who rediscovers the beauty of love after a divorce through his work. Nor is it the first deal from the newspaper for any of its other work:

Among the recent [New York Times] content deals was the recent story of immigrant students planning a prom (“This Strange Thing Called Prom”), which Jenny Lumet is scripting for Miramax; an article about a 12-year-old wannabe food critic that Lorne Michaels is developing at Paramount (“12-Year-Old’s a Food Critic, and the Chef Loves It”); and one about a small college football team paid to be crushed by bigger schools, which Universal is developing with Jack Black (“In College Football, Big Paydays for Humiliation”). None of the development projects has yet turned into a movie.

And here’s the part where I get a little bit stabby.

I have always been a reader because I love good stories. I also read a lot of blogs and personally speaking, some of the most interesting, well-written and well-covered stories are the ones that come from the Times.

Sure, bloggers put their own spin on things—like I’m doing right now—but that’s not going to replace good old fashioned journalism where you dig, and you dig, and you dig for a story, spend hours with your subject, put in a lot of hours in libraries in search of the truth.

For decades, the New York Times has been one of the places for hungry journalists to earn their stripes and win Pulitzer Prizes. Some have even wanted to write for the paper so much they’d fake and plagiarize stories just to retain a “New York Times staff writer” byline.

There’s also a certain reputation the Times has that appeals to my inner conservative. Known as “the Gray Lady,” everyone is referred to as being “Mr. Smith” instead of just “Smith” upon second reference and headlines have initial caps on all the non-particled words.

If by selling the rights to their stories to movie studios they can forestall the firing of any other newsroom reporters or support staff, I’m all for it… and I’m also deeply depressed that print staffers will soon be flooding the ‘tubes with content that belongs in print.

Gyah. Excuse me while I watch His Girl Friday for the umpteenth time and yearn to be a real newswoman.

Posted on October 20, 2009 at 11:44 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
In: News