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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

As the Globe Turns

The Massachusetts House passes transportation reform and lawmakers talk about taxes. Deval Patrick chief of staff Doug Rubin pleads guilty to being the root of the governor's recent bout with political tin ear. Job cuts are on tap at another major employer.

Life goes on as it always does. But all anyone really wants to talk about is the future of the Globe.

Better read the Herald.

While the Globe offers a warmed-over version of a two-day-old Boston Business Journal story, the Herald continues to beat the Globe at its own story: a look at the "sacrifices" being made by New York Times Co. executives; a reminder to the out-of-state owner that federal law requires them to file notice under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act; and an examination of how much it would cost the Times to shutter the Morrissey Boulevard plant in terms of pension liabilities.

Walk away from these stories with the idea that the closure threat is a negotiating ploy and nothing more?

I admit I can be hard on the Herald for its trivial pursuits, so this is really top drawer work. And it is difficult for the Globe to cover its own story. But it should not be impossible.

Globe editorial management should insist on the same type of thorough, in-depth coverage they apply to other major stories. If there is push back from the executive suite or New York, they should report that too.

The Herald's feistiness is understandable. For years they've been the newspaper in trouble. It has bred a mentality that puts sticking it to the Globe at all cost tops on the agenda. No doubt the same idea one-time Globe columnist Eileen McNamara had in mind in penning an op-ed for the Herald.

Scot Lehigh offers a polite forum for readers to sound off. But it is no time for being genteel. It's time to take off the gloves and expose the underlying management problems that have led to this moment.

You know they have done it when other major Boston institutions tottered. Why should this story be any different?

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