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Monday, Apr 27, 2009

The ongoing saga that is the Boston Globe vs. the New York Times Company took an intriguing, if not unnecessary turn Friday as workers at the Globe held a rally at Boston’s Faneuil Hall, the Associated Press reported.

For those of you who may not know, the Times Co. is looking for the Globe to face concessions that amount to nearly $20 million in cuts. The Globe, on the other hand, is asking for the Times Co. to share some of those cuts, somewhat lessening the blow the Globe may receive should the Times Co. move forward with their cutback plans. The Globe has recently set a May 1st deadline for the Times Co. to take another look at the desired concessions plan. If the Times Co. doesn’t budge, the Boston Globe runs the risk of shutting its doors after over 130 years of service.

Got all that? Good.

“I daresay that Boston would lose some of its distinction as the Hub without the Globe,” Dorothy Clark, a Globe news copy editor, told the news-gathering service Friday. “It’s been here since 1872. When an institution has had the fortitude to last that long, you don’t toss it out like old news.”


This infighting between two humongous newspaper names is both childish and counterproductive. As if the newspaper industry needs another hurdle to clear, it now sees two of its five biggest names sparring back and forth in front of the public eye. How good could this possibly look to anyone who may still cherish their morning newspaper? It’s as if the industry wants its clientele to give up on them by showcasing some back-and-forth verbal affair that does nothing more than show exactly how stubborn and selfish anyone in the newspaper industry can be.

Sure, it’s reasonable for the Globe to take the stance it has cemented itself in. Nobody wants the fear of death hanging over their proverbial neck after they have been forced to understand how to live with the possibility of non-existence inching closer to its head with each passing second for the past three years. But come on, guys. Does fighting this out in a public forum make anyone feel any better about a medium that has enough problems of its own?

What’s going to happen if this all gets ironed out behind closed doors and everyone comes away smiling? Or, moreso, how about if it doesn’t get ironed out and the Globe is indeed forced to shut its doors? Then what? In regards to the former, your problem is solved, but not without paying the price of looking like children fighting over the last piece of pizza at a middle school sleep-over, forcing observers to classify you as brats. In regards to the latter, not only do you lose an extremely important major metropolitan daily newspaper, but you also look like you are contributing to the death of a form of media that is in dire need of anything but a black-eye-moment.

“We’re not the reason the newspaper business is failing, but we’re willing to do our part to cure it,” Globe reporter Brian Mooney said Friday.

If that’s the case, then do your best to prove it, big-newspaper people. Quit taking your squabbles to the streets and focus more on unity than division. Because if this ship does finally make its way fully under water someday, it’s not going to matter who’s fault it was. In fact, the only thing that’s truly going to matter is the reality that it won’t have a hope of resurfacing in the future.

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