The Boston Globe, founded in 1872, is no NewCo. It’s infuriating, provincial … and absolutely essential to my community. Although I read it almost exclusively online these days, I do enjoy that virtual thud announcing there’s a new Globe available to me every morning, on my screen if not at the end of my driveway.
The Globe has an inventive feature today, a mock front page imagining what life under a Trump administration might look like. It’s reasonably well done from an editorial standpoint and there are plenty of points to argue over, but I believe that the way the Globe is distributing it shows why the publication is even more doomed than I thought (and that feeling of doom goes up all the way to the newspaper’s current editor).
This smart, potentially shareable, maybe even viral feature was published and is being distributed in a quarter-century-old print-centric manner. Here’s what the front page of the Globe looks like online on a phone, where more people every day get their news.
There’s no hint of the conceptual coup in today’s issue. When you finally dig around and find it, it looks like this:
It’s stuffed under a link to a different story, a blurry image that leads to a PDF, which is only marginally more readable. The newspaper had a great idea today, an idea that would get it readers, some of whom will believe this material is worth paying for, and it executed and distributed it in a clueless manner.
As its remaining readers age, the Globe does not have a future as a printed newspaper. I hope it has a future as a platform-agnostic news operation. The job it does is too important for it to go away without damaging the community. What’s going to take its place? Silence and ignorance. No one wants that, except maybe the people in power who the Globe has a rich history of unmasking. Please do better. We need you!
Originally published at blog.guterman.com on April 10, 2016.