Adam Reilly has a column in this week’s Boston Phoenix that attempts to put talk of a 10 percent wage cut at the Boston Globe in a larger context of union contracts, obsolescence and the future of the newspaper business.
What interested me, though, were the words of an unnamed newsroom insider, who demonstrated that there are some people at 135 Morrissey Boulevard who get it, and who are ready to move on:
It’s weird having white-collar and blue-collar workers in the same union, because they think differently. They’re trying to preserve something that’s dying. We understand it’s dying, and we don’t want to hang on to it. We want to go forward.
I’m not sure if this is the same source talking, but this, from later on in Reilly’s piece, is interesting nevertheless:
There’s no financial model that’ll stop the bleeding. We deliver a product whose business model doesn’t work. Printing a newspaper on paper and delivering it to people is not sustainable.
If the Globe is to survive, it needs to move quickly to an all-online or mostly online model, with the print edition subordinate to the Web. There are still a lot of smart people at the Globe, and I don’t doubt that they know this, starting with editor Marty Baron.
What we may be witnessing now, with the losses continuing to mount, is one of those turning points at which a slow transition suddenly becomes a stampede.