Staff Editorial - April 8

Suffolk Journal
April 8, 2009

The Boston Globe is in serious trouble. On Friday, it reported that its owner, the New York Times Co., threatened to close the paper unless unions accepted $20 million in concessions. The Globe reported that it lost $50 million last year and that management expects to lose $85 million this year unless major cuts are made. With ad revenue drying up and circulation continuing to drop, it's hard to imagine a more precarious financial situation for the newspaper.

The specter of a shuttered Boston Globe is a scary thought. The Globe has played a crucial role over the years in making sure that people working in both public and private organizations are held accountable for their actions. Investigations led by the Globe Spotlight team broke open the infamous clergy-abuse scandal in 2002, which ultimately resulted in the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law for his role in the cover-up. More recently, Globe writer Charlie Savage won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for his work on President Bush's use of signing statements to usurp legislative power. We shudder to think of the kind of corruption and abuse that might go unnoticed without the strong investigative presence of the Globe.

According to Reuters, the Globe remains the most widely circulated daily newspaper in both Boston and New England. Its widespread popularity provides the people of this region, an especially diverse and dissimilar bunch, with a common perception of the most important issues of the day. It has the ability to turn the population's attention toward the lives of the poor and underprivileged, the people who are otherwise most likely to be ignored. Just yesterday a Globe article highlighted the difficulties that non-native speakers are having with the English-only rule in Boston schools. Stories like these remind us how important it is to have enough information about other people's situations before we pass laws to try to improve them. Closing the Globe will only intensify this problem.

The Globe is also a great resource for finding out about what's happening around town and forming an opinion about it. The paper has a reputation for exceptional sports coverage and commentary. Its arts section is constantly introducing readers to an extensive array of artists, projects, and events. Leaving such responsibilities up to the Herald is a thought too terrible to contemplate.

We're hopeful that this alarming financial news will cause people to consider what life would be like without the Boston Globe and remind them of how important it is to preserve.


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