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

Boston Globe recycles a year-old AP story

The Boston Globe does some major recycling today by publishing a year-old story on the political battle over same-sex marriage. The story, by David Crary of the Associated Press, appears on page A11 of the print eReader edition* and begins:

Foes and supporters of same-sex marriage are gearing up for five costly and bruising statewide showdowns in the coming months on an issue that evenly divides Americans.

It’s an election year subplot sure to stir up heated emotions …

And yes, that would be the 2012 election year.

It turns out that Crary’s article ran on the free site on March 8, 2012, under the headline “Bruising gay-marriage showdowns likely in 5 states.” The classics are classics for a reason, I guess.

Subplot: The story appears nowhere today at the paid site. I had to look it up in the ePaper edition after being asked about it on Twitter by @NotSoNiceville. Isn’t, which is a paid site, supposed to include every story in the print edition?

*Update: Eagle-eyed David Bernstein reports that the entire page A11 of the eReader edition is from March 8, 2012. So apparently this is a problem with the eReader edition only — not with the print edition, which only appears up here in Media Nation on Sundays.

Update II: From @BostonGlobePR: “Due to a production error, pages from 3/11/2012 were appended to today’s ePaper. The edition will be corrected and reprocessed.”

Update III: As commenter Bill Ritchotte noted earlier today, the Globe’s free site posted an item from a syndication service called the Prudent Investor “reporting” that Nobel Prize-winning economist (and New York Times columnist) Paul Krugman had declared bankruptcy.

In fact, the Prudent Investor had been taken in by a satirical site called the Daily Currant. There’s a German angle as well. Mediaite has the details and Romenesko has an image of the page before the item was taken down. For what it’s worth, I’m told runs the Prudent Investor feed on autopilot.

Update IV (2:30 p.m.): I just received an email from Globe spokeswoman Ellen Clegg. She writes: “The post about Paul Krugman was an automatic feed on a partner website,, which uses to provide stock and other financial data. The story did not originate with the Boston Globe or, and we worked to get it taken down as soon as we heard about it from readers. We have asked to provide us with more information as to how this story was added into their financial news feed.”

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  1. Laurence Kranich

    There were some problems this morning with the electronic edition of the Globe. They included about 50 pages of the Sunday edition from about 1 year ago. Most of it is after the G section, so you might not have noticed all those year old cars being advertised, and the editorials from last March. Maybe they are making up for the sections they omitted from yesterday’s Globe e-edition, including the comics and the regional sections.

  2. Bill Ritchotte

    Speaking of problems…Will the Globe ever retract or revise this piece of satire they reported as real news?

    How embarrassing.

  3. Second question first – I’e noticed that many papers don’t put AP-originated stories on their web sites/pages. It’s one reason I still read print. Do they have to pay more?

    On a more cynical level, maybe it is an electronic glitch and they’re accidently recycling. But how else can you keep hate alive during the special election when the social issues aren’t much of a topic unless you re-run speculative old stories and pretend they’re current news?

  4. Someone grabbed the wrong electronic file. I bet they don’t archive with year first – 120312. Not enough staff to catch the error. I wonder how many readers noticed.

  5. Robert Skole

    The Globe’s correction should make great reading. I used a Globe correction as “Journalese of the Day” on

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