Monday, May 4, 2009

The Boston Glob(e)

In what could mean a huge strike against intelligence, literacy, and journalism in Massachusetts, The Boston Globe has received its initial 60-day shutdown notice from The NY Times Co., which owns it. While the unions refer to it as a 'bullying' tactic, it has shown a lot of promise as unions are still at the table to produce $20+ million in cuts to the newspaper, employees, benefits, and concessions, which will ultimately erase nearly half of the $50 million the newspaper lost last year, and may erase most of the projected $75 million it will lose this year.

That's an incredible amount of money. Incredible. Especially for a newspaper, but what I like about this is staying power and perseverance. There's no quit when it comes to anything in New England, as any hearty fisherman will prove, and the endurance and perseverance of unions is the stuff of legends. But what I didn't know was that there is a 'job guarantee' clause in all employee contracts, essentially protecting each employee from a layoff for any reason, other than self-enabled. Essentially tenure for teachers doesn't even do half of that. That is twice as amazing as any deficit. Anyone should be so lucky as to have that. And perhaps that's the necessary thing to go as it would alleviate tons of problems through some attrition, redundancies, and layoffs.

I don't think the Globe will turn into a glob, a stain on the hands of Boston as its former building crumbles on the south shore, and the memory of an intelligent and provocative newspaper wanes. But I do think it needs some major changes, but then again what newspaper doesn't? Could The Globe be a trendsetter? Hmm...

It's a sad world for the newspaper industry, but what this recession is proving to us, is that the world has an insatiable appetite for news, and print journalism is never out of fashion. We just need to update how we present the news...on the internet, preferably, seems to be the wave of the future. And Boston, like the majority of New England needs to be a trendsetter. Less in print, more online, seems to be the answer to the shrinking physical readership of the newspaper, though internet traffic has increased 'each week for the past two years.' I think that tells you something about the effect the closure would have on Boston and Massachusetts in general, and the overall tenacity and insatiability of Boston's literate population.

No comments:

Post a Comment