Obviously, I’ve had an invested interest in newspapers, having worked in the field for my entire adult life. And I’ve been reading about the New York Times’ threat to close the Boston Globe with some incredulity — first New York takes Jordan Marsh and Filene’s and replaces them with Macy’s, then they take away my morning Globe? The Boston Herald as Boston’s paper of record? Is this bizarro world?
What I can’t wrap my head around is this: apparently about 450 Globe employees have lifetime guarantee jobs. What the heck do you have to do to land that kind of promise? How does that kind of offer even get put on the table, especially in a union shop?
Reading the Globe today, a comment from reporter Patricia Wen indicates she may be one of the people with the lifetime offer. In which case, good for her — she’s easily my favorite writer at the paper — but who else is on the list? Remnants of the Taylor family? Dan Shaughnessy? Hiawatha Bray for the sheer awesomeness of his byline alone?
I’ll admit we’re close to a time when mornings won’t be marked by going out to the end of the driveway for the newspaper. And I’ll admit that, more often than not, I start my day in front of a computer screen. But there’s something that’s just more tangible about news from a paper — whether it’s my 11-year-old battling with his father over who gets to solve the Suduku or read the sports section first or all those lazy Sundays flipping through the sections (and appreciating, as a former Sunday editor, all the freaking work that goes into them).
Plus, I still have my very first front page article from my days at the Boston Herald. My father framed it for me shortly after it appeared (“Quake bashes San Francisco”), probably after bringing it around to every coffee shop in Bellingham. I can’t quite imagine a printout from a website having the same impact.