Blog Rally to Help the Boston Globe

How did that headline grab you?

An email passed into my inbox last night letting me know about a proposed movement called a “blog rally” aimed at throwing support at the Boston Globe and attempting to “save the Globe from the barbarians down in New York.”

What is a “blog rally” you say?

A blog rally is the simultaneous presentation of identical or similar material on numerous blogs, for the purpose of engaging large numbers of readers and/or persuading them to adopt a certain position or take a certain action. The simultaneous nature of a blog rally creates the ironic result of joining the efforts of otherwise independent bloggers for an agreed-upon purpose.

The position being shared among several local bloggers is this:

We have all read recently about the threat of possible closure faced by the Boston Globe. A number of Boston-based bloggers who care about the continued existence of the Globe have banded together in conducting a blog rally. We are simultaneously posting this paragraph to solicit your ideas of steps the Globe could take to improve its financial picture.

We view the Globe as an important community resource, and we think that lots of people in the region agree and might have creative ideas that might help in this situation. So, here’s your chance. Please don’t write with nasty comments and sarcasm: Use this forum for thoughtful and interesting steps you would recommend to the management that would improve readership, enhance the Globe’s community presence, and make money. Who knows, someone here might come up with an idea that will work, or at least help. Thank you.

The irony of this is not lost on me. The idea of a group of bloggers expressing their support for the Boston Globe is a notion some might find hard to grasp. After all, the Globe has mocked bloggers and tried to discredit them at almost every turn in the past. Many bloggers believe that the time has come for old school media institutions like the Globe to shut their doors. Yet, here we have a community of bloggers rushing to support the Globe in its biggest time of need.

As noted above, some view the Globe  as a community resource, while others recognize the hardship that the closing of the Globe would put on thousands of families who rely on it for their means of living. The closing of the Globe would not be a victory for anyone.

If you regularly visit several Boston-based blogs, you’re likely to see a similar post to the above at some of them today.

So, as mentioned above, without getting nasty or sarcastic, what do you think the Globe can do to remain in business?

Also check out this article in the Boston Business Journal exploring possible buyers and solutions for the Globe.

  • Boda

    There’s very little the Globe can do to stay in business long-term. Its business model is dying quickly. Short-term, it’s up to the unions. The NY Times is desperately trying to conserve and raise cash to meet its debt obligations. The future of the Sulzberger family is at stake. I don’t think they will hesitate to shutter the Globe if they can’t get it to stop bleeding cash.

    Similarly, the paper can’t be sold without eliminating, or severely restructuring, the union deals. The Globe has an infrastructure and a cost structure that was built based on a distribution base that no longer exists, and on a classified advertising base that migrated to craigslist. There are, of course, lots of other costs beyond union deals that must be cut. But new management can make those cuts unilaterally. That’s not the case with the union contracts, making a sale unlikely.

    The Globe was an important (and sometimes destructive) community resource back when the distribution of news to a wide audience was expensive. In today’s world, that distribution is free. While I understand that nostalgia plays a role in much of the angst over the idea of a Globe-less world, it’s really not a scary thought.

    In a world of free distribution of news, oligarchies like the Globe never would have appeared in the first instance. Trying to “save” it as a newspaper is a fool’s errand. The sooner it focuses on the inevitable – being an online news site – the better the chances that at least a part of it will survive.

  • Nopointe

    Fire Shaughnessy, and I’m not being nasty or sarcastic, he contributes nothing and gets paid too much. He’s a symbol of the past and has the streak of self entitlement to match. Close the door on overpaid columnists who stick around simply because they have stuck around.

    • Lance

      When I read the headline in the Globe it was my first thought. The Globe could get rid of their high priced muckraking journalists – who no one pays to read anyway. If their sports could concentrate in coverage rather than garbage then I would feel compelled to help their cause. As it is; CHB and the Mazz types have kept me from subscribing to the Globe.

  • jon

    They could become a barbecue restaurant. Who doesn’t like ribs?

  • http://3rdstringqb.blogspot.com Pip

    As if the NYT cares about the opinion of bloggers? The only way bloggers can save the globe, is if each of the blogs involved in this project get 100 people to subscribe to the Globe. And even then we are talking a 50/50 chance the Globe will last 5 years.

  • Al Boondy

    This isn’t meant to be sarcastic, but surely people don’t believe that this is a purely altruistic move on the part of bloggers … Most blogs (heck, nearly all of them) don’t do any actual investigative and/or journalistic work; they simply read what “old school media institutions” like the Globe are reporting and then comment on it.

    Basically, if the Globe is removed as a major resource for material, then a lot of bloggers (in the sports field and otherwise) will be left with nothing to talk about … The ulterior motives behind this “movement” are really striking, if you think about it.

    • Bruce

      Most of the bloggers who are participating in this are not “media critic” types. They’re just people who happen to live in Boston and blog about stuff – mostly other than what the Globe publishes on a daily basis.

  • http://youngsportscasters.com Jimmy

    Sounds like the Times is using threats like this to scare the union during a negotiation. Seems to me both sides better figure out a way to stay in business or both sides will be out of business. The Globe is an institution in this town, although since I only read the sports page, I would be happy if they only published that. These are scary times for newspapers. Remember when Jack Welch, and Jack Connors, and Ed Eskandarian made a 50cents on the dollar offer for the Globe in May 2007? How’s that deal look now???
    Save the Globe!!

  • Rupertscoming

    Heard in the NY Times boardroom 8 months ago

    Punch: “Alright…who’s this guy Craig…and why’s he got a list??!!