The paper you hold in your hands is an endangered species.

But documentarian Andrew Rossi hopes there will always be a place for print in the future.

“It’s so crucial to our society that we as a culture could never let it go,” he says when contemplating the potential demise of newspapers, particularly the world-renown New York Times.

With the web eclipsing print as everyone’s main news source and newspapers across the nation going bankrupt and ceasing to exist, Page One is a thrilling snapshot capturing the transformation of the media industry during a time of great turmoil. What started as a simple project about social media issues turned into an entirely bigger portrait once Rossi met with the salty but brilliant David Carr.

Rossi had been given unprecedented access to one of the world’s most respected newsrooms and the inner workings of the Media Desk at the Manhattan-based paper. During his initial talks with Carr, he found his conversations always circling back to The New York Times, “where legacy media and traditional media” coexist, and where their place was going to be in this new future. This was also at a time when speculations were being made about the Times’ own possible bankruptcy, thanks to a recent editorial by Michael Hirschorn in The Atlantic.

Suddenly, the focus changed. Rossi decided to use Carr as a protagonist covering the demise of his own industry while his own paper went through its own upheaval. Other writers like Brian Stelter and Tim Arango also found their way into Rossi’s narrative while their editors and publishers grappled with existential challenges from WikiLeaks, Twitter, iPads and readers’ expectations that news online should be free.

“The real message of Page One,” Rossi says, “is that the craft of journalism at institutions like The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post is something that is really valuable and something that readers and viewers will hopefully feel like they would like to protect.”

Sitting down with Carr, a self-proclaimed “ex-crackhead who sounds like Kermit the Frog” and a bestselling author with 330,000 followers on Twitter, one should expect several tasty soundbites. And I got more than plenty from the former speechwriter with the textured past…

On being a respected journalist and reporter: “We are [basically] people who go find people more interesting than us, write down what they say and then bring it back to tell their people all about it.”

On being the “star” of a film: “It’s a weird thing to be sitting here and have the microphones pointed at me, so that’s different. One of these nice people over here [gesturing to a publicist] went and got me a latte. I’m used to asking questions, not answering them, and I think it would be a bit of a reach to think of me as talent.”

On writers in general: “Most of the writers I know are unbelievably insecure people and are generally narcissistic and defined by the opinions of others … I think writers are driven by a fundamental insecurity which is, ‘If I don’t type this, then I don’t really exist’ … I think a lot of writers haven’t decided on who they are … We are a neurotic, self-loathing lot generally.”

Ever self-deprecating, Carr considers himself a great storyteller with “an insatiable desire to know what cannot be known,” but one that doesn’t create as much ripples as the ones he believes will be made by this documentary (he can’t praise Rossi’s work more).

Rossi himself believes the world is headed towards a hybrid future in which reputable online news groups, like the Pulitzer Prize-winning, will start sharing their stories with print and television outlets in order to reach a wider audience. If that happens, Carr thinks the overall business model of newspapers is in dire need of a structural makeover so that they can deal with the broad perception in Internet culture that information should be free.

“We’re up against web economics where the value of an advertiser is so much less on the web than in print because there’s no scarcity on the web,” he points out.

To all insecure writers out there, there’s still hope. You will be heard.

Page One releases in select theaters June 24.