By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The BBJ’s must-read on the Globe

Mary Moore’s Boston Business Journal article on the fate of the Boston Globe is a must-read — a comprehensive overview of every idea that’s being floated, from the return of the Taylor family to the return of (good grief) Mike Barnicle. Of course, Rupert Murdoch and Pat Purcell have cameos, too.

And here’s a wrinkle to Moore’s suggestion that the non-profit Boston Foundation might get involved: vice president Mary Jo Meisner (photo) was editor of Community Newspaper Co. back when Fidelity owned it, running more than 100 papers in Eastern Massachusetts.

Meisner was also editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and city editor of the Washington Post, among other newspaper jobs. It would be pretty interesting if the Globe’s financial woes somehow resulted in her returning to the journalism wars.

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  1. NewsHound

    You can renegotiate anything, anytime.

  2. Whalehead King

    The New London (Conn.) Day is a daily paper headquartered in a city of 26,000 people that is it’s own non-profit corporation. It has managed to survive indepently and people attribute it to it’s legal status. It’s a model that may work here in Boston, though the legal logistics seem difficult and byzantine. It’s done elsewhere on a smaller scale, so there is a kernel of hope.

  3. James

    I don’t understand why everyone is talking about it taking legislation to “allow” newspapers to become non-profits. Can’t they just change their corporate charter and become whatever they want? The Christian Science Monitor has always been a non-profit, I believe. As well as PBS/NPR. Can you explain why it has to be done through a change in the law, Dan?It seems to be a very logical step for newspapers in this age of electronic media competition. I also never really understood why media should ever have been for-profit. It seems to me that the profit motive is inherently a contradiction with the goal of providing unbiased information to the public. Isn’t there always a conflict of interest with allowing companies to buy advertisements which reporting on news that may involve those companies or their industries? Maybe all of the recent issues with the profitability of the newspaper revenue model will allow us to completely reform all the media so that it is all non-profit.Can you imagine the quality of the local TV news if they didn’t have to worry about selling ads during the half hour evening segment? If the people own the airwaves and license them to the media companies, we should at least be able to get 30 minutes of decent news coverage as a sort of public service.

  4. Dan Kennedy

    James: Actually, I read somewhere that among the many misguided ideas behind the legislation is that it’s even necessary. So I think you’re right.

  5. Patricia of Trakai

    Actually, non-profit or for-profit status MAY make a difference if you’re trying to cover Congress.The Daily Press Gallery rules state that the press credential applicant’s publication “must be editorially independent of any institution, foundation or interest group that lobbies the federal government, or that is not principally a general news organization.” Although the daily-press rules do not specify for-profit, I wonder what would happen if certain institutions or foundations gave money to a non-profit newspaper.(Notice that the criteria for the radio-television gallery mention only the applicant, not the applicant’s institution. So NPR and the Newshour with Jim Lehrer are on the list of members.)For periodicals (non-daily publications), paragraph 2 of the rules states that a nonprofit organization must not lobby or influence any matter before Congress or the Executive Branch. I work in science journalism, and I know of publications that cover “science news” but can’t get congressional press passes because the parent group supports more funding for science/engineering education or the relaxation of visa restrictions on visiting scientists or whatever.

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