The Boston Globe’s Steve Bailey, the city’s last bigfoot columnist, says farewell — and reminds us of journalism’s importance:

Newspapers, in print and online, continue to provide our common language. After a lifetime spent in newsrooms, I believe this as much as I believe anything. Flawed though they are, newspapers are our town common, the place where we meet, learn about one another, and debate what is right and what is not. They amuse us, and they anger us. And to the extent that people opt out of that common conversation, we are the lesser for it.

Bailey’s right, and he’s not being nostalgic. The conversation is moving online and spreading out, but it’s not separate and apart. It exists in a symbiotic relationship with journalism.

And best wishes to Bailey, who’s heading for London for a job with Bloomberg.

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