Saturday, April 4, 2009

Will Boston Become a One Newspaper City?

So The New York Times is threatening to shut down The Boston Globe if its unions don't make major concessions in the amount of $20 million. If The Globe doesn't make these concessions the paper which was founded in 1872 could be shut down in a month.

While I appreciate the irony of a pro-union newspaper union busting to cut costs it is quite possible this could be the end of the newspaper as we know it. If The Boston Globe goes The New York Times is sure to follow.

Bill O'Reilly generally blames the decline of newspapers like The Rocky Mountain News and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer on left-wing ideology. There is no doubt a left-wing editorial line which permeated its way into hard news stories have alienated some readers and resulted in canceled subscriptions. But that explanation alone isn't sufficient.

Some newspapers with conservative political leanings have been hit as well. The New York Sun closed its doors last year. The Boston Herald has also been forced to make deep cost cutting measures and its future is not guaranteed either. While it is possible Boston could become a one newspaper city it could also become a city without any daily newspapers save for The Boston Metro, which is part of the Metro International chain. The only reason The Boston Metro isn't in trouble is because its free.

While my roomie Christopher buys the newspaper (especially The Sunday Globe) quite frankly I cannot remember the last time I bought a newspaper. It's been at least five years if not longer. If I get information from a newspaper I get it online. I certainly cannot be alone.

Couple that trend with economic calamity and you've got the virtual extinction of newspapers. I never thought I would see the day. After all, newspapers survived the advent of both radio and television. But now that the Internet can reproduce a virtual newspaper at a fraction of the cost why would an entrepreneur make such an investment?

But fear not The Socialist Worker will always be with us.

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