Monday, May 04, 2009
It Can't Be, Can it?
The news this morning shouldn't come as a shock, or even a surprise.
And it shouldn't bring tears to my eyes, or a funny tight feeling to my chest.
But it does.
The New York Times Co. said this morning that if it doesn't get more concessions from labor unions, it will close The Boston Globe. The New York Times Co. bought the Globe in 1993, and there are those who say it hasn't treated New England's newspaper very well. http://www.washingtonpost.com.
Newspapers have been dropping faster than flies. But this loss, if it happens, hits particularly hard. A major city like Boston without a good newspaper?
Hard to fathom.
What are we coming to in this society if we cannot sustain a newspaper? How does democracy work when the fourth estate goes missing? So now, without a newspaper, without reporters to write about police brutality, crime, corruption, city waste and mismanagement, how do people find out what they need to know?
So maybe this is just the Times' putting the squeeze on the labor unions (apparently the negotiations with the unions stalled after the Times realized it had made a $4 million accounting error, and wanted more sacrifices from employees.)
But we can't let it happen, not in Boston, the site of so much of our early history, where the seeds of the Revolutionary War took sprout.
We've got to figure out a way to keep journalism alive, if not in ink and paper, then on-line. Because the job of newspapers is still critical. It matters.
Except maybe not to the New York Times Co.