Blog Rally to help the Boston Globe

We have all read recently about the threat of possible closure faced by the Boston Globe. A number of Boston-based bloggers who care about the continued existence of the Globe have banded together in conducting a blog rally.

We are simultaneously posting this paragraph to solicit your ideas of steps the Globe could take to improve its financial picture: We view the Globe as an important community resource, and we think that lots of people in the region agree and might have creative ideas that might help in this situation. So, here's your chance.

Please use this forum for thoughtful and interesting steps you would recommend to the management that would improve readership, enhance the Globe's community presence, and make money. Who knows, someone here might come up with an idea that will work, or at least help. Thank you.

I posted this comment on Paul Levy's blog, where the rally started:

"For years, the Boston Globe and every other newspaper have given away their treasure and continue to do so even as I type this.

Go to Huffington Post, Drudge Report, Daily Beast, and similar sites: strip away links to newspaper-originated stories and you have vast outpourings of opinion, lots of fluff, and very limited hard news coverage.Imagine where broadcast and cable TV would be were they to permit a similar hemorrhage of their programming. In a sense, what saved them was the fact that the Internet was not up to speed in the early free-for-all. A year or two ago, for example, a China-based company launched a "TV-player" that allowed access to major stations: they were swiftly forced to remove these links by FOX, ABC etc.

Alas, the stable door may be off its hinges, but I see no reason why the Globe and other papers should continue to provide the world’s greatest free news service.

1) Newspapers need to find a way of monetizing the stream of material currently donated to the web. – A combination of The Wall Street Journal’s subscription model for deep coverage + some free web material may be one answer.

2) Much has been said about lack of local content, but it should be acknowledged that a major regional newspaper cannot cover events on every block. That’s always been left to small local papers – in my area, the Dorchester Reporter does a fine job of reporting what’s going on in every parish; ethnic papers offer similar coverage of their communities. – I’ve worked in both of these print areas with stories I never expected our big city paper to cover and gladly so for my own readership figures!

3) In a worst case scenario, I would see the Globe move to tabloid format along the lines of its new “G” section from Monday to Saturday. The Sunday Globe could be the flagship weekly at a premium price, which I would gladly pay.