The Boston Globe: Gone with the Wind?

Filed in Local News, Politics by on June 14, 2009 2 Comments

Flickr photo courtesy of rowland-w

Flickr PhotoCourtesy of rowland-w

By Allan-Michael Brown

What’s that in the sky? It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Wait! —It’s the Boston Globe blowing in the wind! I’m not crazy, and I’m not downtown where the front page of the Globe is literally blowing in the wind. I’m just a Bostonian, shocked and bewildered by the recent current events involving one of the nation’s most prestigious and oldest newspapers. The Boston Globe may be gone with the wind.

Sometimes, on a brisk Sunday morning, there is nothing like the sound of silence, the sight of the sun, and the smells of coffee and newsprint. Many Bostonians have had the Boston Globe as a part of a Sunday morning or daily ritual. The Globe has existed in newsprint for over 137 years. It is respected and trusted. However, the newspaper is in a crisis. Sales are falling fast, which means that less and less Bostonians are adding the Globe to their daily ritual.

The New York Times Company, which has owned the Boston Globe since 1993 is contemplating selling the newspaper or shutting it down. What ever the future may hold for the Globe, it is apparent that the New York Times Company is desperate to cut costs at every end possible. The most significant would be cutting jobs and wages. It has been reported that the Globe would accept the cost reductions set by the New York Times Company so the Globe’s future would remain in print. However, a union for the Boston Globe writers has recently refused to accept the decrease in pay, arguing that writers are working citizens and must also keep up with the bills in this bitter economy. This recent turn of events continues to leave the Globe’s future up in the air. Predictions estimate that the Boston Globe is expected to lose perhaps $85 million this year.

To be honest, the Boston Globe is not my favorite newspaper. I’d rather read the New York Times. However the Globe does have a local charm and flair. It’s a blunt, relevant, reliable newspaper. Sometimes the New York Times can be too liberal for my taste, and I am very liberal. The Boston Globe has a conservative voice with a liberal’s wit and spin. I truly value the newspaper and I, like many Bostonians would hate to see the newspaper disappear.

It is so shocking that a 137 year-old icon may disappear in thin air, all because of money—or is it? Politicians talk of a recession, but this Bostonian feels that we’re presently in a depression. It seems that everything “American” that has always transcended time is disappearing. Madonna is aging. JP Morgan Chase has gone bankrupt. Six Flags just filed for bankruptcy just weeks after General Motors did. The MBTA may be cutting service. Everything that has been long trusted and admired as an American brand seems to be disappearing. Products we buy are rarely American-made. Hollywood movie studios shoot films in Canada to avoid high costs while more and more foreigners buy our real estate so they can profit while American homes go into foreclosure. Even Lifesavers, the candy isn’t made in America because of costs. What is going on with our nation? Is our economy so bad that everything we’ve built must go because of cost? I must be crystal clear that I am in no way bashing foreigners or anything that is un-American; I am highlighting the point that many things that are American-made are fading fast.

The newspaper industry is undoubtedly suffering because of our digital age. One might argue, why buy a newspaper when one can go online and read the articles for free?—Or—Who needs a newspaper when one can watch a news video clip on the go in 1 minute? This may be a valid argument, but nothing will replace the newsprint on a Sunday morning with coffee just as a digital pixel can never replace a grain of film in a photograph.

I urge all Bostonians and members of New England to pick up the Globe. Let’s save our paper. If we don’t save the American things we love, perhaps we will be a civilization Gone with the Wind.

Flickr Photo Courtesy of rowland-w

Flickr PhotoCourtesy of rowland-w

Flickr Photo Courtesy of Booth#1982

Flickr PhotoCourtesy of Booth#1982

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Comments (2)

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  1. Gone with the Wind, the best film ever made… You bring up nothing but good points, love the article.

  2. amanda says:

    I’ve never seen Gone With the Wind. I’ll be sad to see The Boston Globe go away. Sadly, I only read it online because I can’t afford the print version.

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