Maybe it’s just us, but John Henry’s full-page manifesto in yesterday’s Boston Globe feels like the biggest self-indulgence this side of Shake Shack.
Here’s how it starts:
Why I bought the Globe
I HAVE been asked repeatedly in recent weeks why I chose to buy the Globe. A few have posed the question in a tone of incredulity, as in, “Why would anyone purchase a newspaper these days?” But for the most part, people have offered their thanks and best wishes with a great deal of warmth. A number of civic and business leaders have also offered their help. I didn’t expect any of these reactions, but I should have.
Over the past two months I have learned just how deeply New Englanders value the Globe. It is the eyes and ears of the region in some ways, the heartbeat in many others. It is the gathering point not just for news and information, but for opinion, discussion, and ideas.
Truth is, I prefer to think that I have joined the Globe, not purchased it, because great institutions, public and private, have stewards, not owners. Stewardship carries obligations and responsibilities to citizens first and foremost — not to shareholders.
Uh-huh. That’s what they all say at first. It may or may not be different this time, but here’s what Henry says will be different in his restyling of the Globe:
• “The print newspaper will be attractive and easier to navigate. So too will BostonGlobe.com, which will provide subscribers with news updates and fresh information throughout the day.” Wait wait – back up. The print edition will be easier to navigate? What does that mean – fewer pages?
• “We will provide what we will call the Globe Standard when it comes to curated links that will ensure our readers do not waste their time when they click on news, reviews, writers, columnists, ecommerce, events, opportunities, and social engagement from any of our platforms.” Yeesh.
• “I feel strongly that newspapers and their news sites are going to rely upon the support of subscribers to a large extent in order to provide what readers want.” That sound you just heard is the price of the Globe going up.
The rest is a combination of oversharing and news media bromides. The one thing Henry does not promise is a firewall between the Globe and the Red Sox. Maybe because it was easier to navigate this piece without it.