A World Without the Globe
Then the Seattle Post-Intelligencer scaled back to a spartan staff and an online-only operation. Yet the Seattle Times lived on to lead the crusade.
The Detroit Daily News and Free Press next suspended delivery to three days a week. No surprise given dire straits in the Motor City.
At the same time, newsrooms have increasingly resembled morgues, as reporters are sent to the unemployment lines with little prospect of sustainable employment. But readers (and freelance writers) are flocking to new media alternatives like the Huffington Post and Politico.
Now, the New York Times Company has apparently proven that its threat to shutter the venerable, yet bleeding Boston Globe was much more than idle. "New England's most storied newspaper" may be extinct within two months, leaving only the tabloid Boston Herald, with a slim staff of ten to stand as Beantown's print voice.
The Gray Lady herself is highly leveraged with loans taken on its Manhattan headquarters and from a Mexican billionaire, along with a newsroom staff paring of 100 and a 5% pay cut.
This bloodbath may be inevitable as a broken economic model coupled with the worst economy in three generations has hastened the collapse of print journalism as we know it. An alternative will undeniably rise from the ashes, but the utter brutality of the present and the unknown direction we are headed make the present ever difficult to swallow.
Here's hoping that economic stabilization equals the preservation of pivotal print outlets, at least for the time being. Before long, a new economic model must usher in the same investigative reporting central to democratic accountability and governance. Until then, let's hope the Times finds a way to spare its brethren in Boston.
The world simply wouldn't be the same without the Globe.