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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Where's the beef?

So Mrs. OL and I were wandering the aisles of our old Star Market (or is that Shaw's?) wondering how they managed to cram that 10 pounds of stuff into a five-pound store.

Of course, that's a totally different conversation from when they completely rearranged the current Shaw's (or is that Star Market?) and moved everything to somewhere else.

I've obviously got a thing about the editorial decision-making at the Globe's City Weakly. But today's story about Roche Brothers sent me searching for the full-page ad somewhere in the section.

It's one thing for bloggers to write about the local market -- that is the classic definition of hyperlocal and it's an important part of why this form of communication is growing. And I'd love to have a store as responsive as Roche Brothers to inspire loyalty in my shopping.

But the folks on Morrissey Boulevard are having a hard time understanding the concept -- or at the very least putting it in place. Why is the Globe focusing on Newton as it "partners" with the Newton Tab at the expense of every other community in the metropolitan area?

The answer just keeps coming back -- there's advertising to be sold here.

Not that there's anything wrong with the Globe actually trying to make a buck so they don't have to keep shrinking the news hole. But there is hyperlocal and there is esoteric -- and prominent stories about the West Roxbury Roche Brothers don't have a lot of legs in Allston-Brighton, Brookline, Cambridge or Somerville.

And when was the last time the Globe did a serious look at anything in the communities in City Weakly?

So guys spread the wealth a little. Maybe you can actually sell a few more ads legitimately and take a look at the trend stories that affect all of our small little group of cities, towns and neighborhoods.

And no, stories about basic begging and dive bars don't cut it either.

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Anonymous adamg said...

I beg to differ, and not just because that story has an actual link to Universal Hub.

Setting aside the question of whether City Weekly should be doing hard-news reporting, the real story here is that there's a locally owned business that inspires such loyalty that when they do something as mundane as change some aisles around, people get upset enough to post about it. You just don't see that when Shaw's or Stop & Shop makes changes. Seems like a valid premise for a story to me (although I might've added a couple of paragraphs explaining whey Roche Bros. thrives when Flanagan's fell apart).

Yeah, somebody in Somerville may not care as much as those of us south of the Arboretum (if at all), but then, somebody in Hyde Park probably doesn't much care about the fate of the Grecian Yearning in Allston (to cite another story in today's City Weekly). I guess that's the price we pay for the Globe lumping all of Boston together with some of the inner suburbs.

December 07, 2008 1:41 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Thanks Adam. Valid point. Obviously my mini-snit about Star/Shaw's suggests I agree with you on the fact the loyalty to Roche's makes a difference.

I'm just concerned about what appears to me a total lack of thought about an editorial policy for the Weakly -- and the problems that come from lumping everyone together.

I suspect further zoning down to the city neighborhoods and the in-close "suburbs" would help, but heaven knows there is no cash for that.

In the end, I'd rather not even see the section than continue to be ignored by it. Hence my regular lashing out.

December 07, 2008 4:06 PM  

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