Boston Globe Recycles Work of Other Newsrooms

April 15, 2020

From our No Credit Where Credit’s Due desk

Let’s stipulate here that the Boston Globe has done yeoman’s work covering the local coronavirus calamity.

But let’s also acknowledge that the Globeniks have occasionally drafted off the work of other news organizations in the process.

Exhibit A: This Page One Globe story last Saturday.

 

 

Moving piece. No mention, though, of the Boston Herald’s Page One story that ran three days earlier.

 

 

Exhibit B: This piece by Steve Annear in yesterday’s Globe.

Separated by coronavirus, 88-year-old Watertown man uses bucket truck to see wife at nursing home

“They could have lifted me 10 stories and it would not have bothered me,” Nick Avtges said. “As long as I got to see her.”

Up until recently — before everything changed — 88-year-old Nick Avtges would wake up each morning, have his breakfast, and then head out to see his wife, Marion, at the Maristhill Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, where she’s been living for the last year. He would stay with her all day, hardly leaving her side.

“He’s been a very devoted husband,” said James Tracy, president and administrator of the Waltham center. “He never missed a day.”

But in March, as the novel coronavirus continued to spread, posing a critical threat to residents at facilities like the one where Marion, 85, is staying, the center went from reducing its visitations to not allowing visitors at all.

 

Once again, no credit to the original story by Joanna Tzouvelis six days ago in the MetroWest Daily News.

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, lots of other news outlets drafted off the MetroWest story without attribution.

But you’d think the Boston Globe – five days later – would be better than that.

Unfortunately, you’d think wrong.


The Boston Globe’s Saturday Print Edition Scam

April 4, 2020

As the hardreading staff noted the other week, there’s something up with the Boston Globe’s Saturday edition. First there was the abandonment of its WSJr format and return to the paper’s normal configuration, comme çi.

 

 

Then there was this.

The hardreading staff received a call [last month] from the Globe sales department offering us a couple of bucks off our outrageously expensive Sunday print/all access digital subscription for the next three months (which still costs half of our old seven-day print subscription) – plus the Saturday print edition at no extra charge for the next three months and beyond. Plus plus a buck a month thereafter off our old subscription price.

We were supposed to get our first bonus Saturday paper yesterday. We didn’t.

 

That was March 21st. Today marks the third Saturday in a row we’ve failed to get the Globe’s print edition.

We’re not sure what kind of scam this might be. But we’re pretty sure it’s some kind.


What’s Up With the Boston Globe’s Saturday Edition?

March 22, 2020

The hardreading staff is not sure what, but something’s going on at the Boston Globe regarding its Saturday edition.

Exhibit A: The Globe has apparently ditched its five-year-old Saturday format, which at its debut we dubbed WSJr, since it was so clearly a Weekend Wall Street Journal wannabe.

Representative sample from three weeks ago.

 

 

The whole thing was front-loaded – Metro, Nation, World, Business, Opinion all smushed together in the A section. That apparently was meant to clear the decks for a new section – Good Life – which was a thin gruel of lifestyle, arts, and culture.

Coronavirusly or not, the Globe has dumped that Saturday setup and returned to its default format the past two weeks.

Yesterday’s front page:

 

 

Metro and Business now get their own sections (B and D if you’re keeping score at home) and everything seems back to normal.

But there’s more.

Exhibit B: The hardreading staff received a call the other day from the Globe sales department offering us a couple of bucks off our outrageously expensive Sunday print/all access digital subscription for the next three months (which still costs half of our old seven-day print subscription) – plus the Saturday print edition at no extra charge for the next three months and beyond. Plus plus a buck a month thereafter off our old subscription price.

We were supposed to get our first bonus Saturday paper yesterday. We didn’t.

Regardless, we’re wondering why the Globe is doubling down on the Saturday print edition, since you’d think it might be the first to go if the Globeniks decided to scale back.

Actually, since we didn’t get the paper yesterday, maybe they already have.


FreePress to Boston Globe: Drop Coronavirus Paywall

March 19, 2020

According to Free Press, which “was created [in 2003] to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media,” while the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and other dailies have dropped their paywalls for coronavirus coverage, the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times have not.

Thus, this Free Press post (tip o’ the pixel to Nieman Journalism Lab).

 

 

Here’s some of what Boston Globe Customer Service says about retaining its paywall:

Subscriber support enables the Boston Globe to produce vital reporting that informs and strengthens our community.  Our journalists have been working 24/7 with staff across our organization to provide reliable and helpful information to readers as news on the coronavirus pandemic rapidly unfolds. We are currently offering non-subscribers our lowest rate ever – full digital access to BostonGlobe.com at just $1 for 6 months, commitment-free.

 

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, Boston Globe Media does tout its free coverage at Boston.com, which is sort of CliffsNotes to the Globe, as well as access to some content at STAT and a free newsletter. But that’s hardly the full-court press available at the mother ship.

Which, it seems, is exactly the point the Globe is trying to make.

 


Boston Globe on Verdugo Days Late, Disclosure Short

February 16, 2020

The story of newly minted Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo’s involvement it the alleged sexual assault of a minor in 2015 has been out there for over a year, thanks to baseball writer Jessica Quiroli, who chronicled the incident in chilling detail on her blog All Heels on Deck.

Nut graf:

She was one of the 75% of runaways who are female. And, as runaways often do, she found support where she could. Maybe on that February night in Glendale, Arizona, a city nine miles outside of Phoenix, she felt safe when she agreed to hang out with two women, who were a few years older than her, whom she’d met through social media.

Maybe the prospect of hanging out with Los Angeles Dodgers players, in town for Spring Training, sounded like fun. What she ultimately experienced was a twisted night of physical, verbal and sexual abuse. And, once she made her story known, she was subjected to more trauma.

 

The story has also been all over Twitter this past week. But there was nothing in the stately local broadsheet until this story by Peter Abraham and Alex Speier ran in the Boston Sunday Globe (and was buried on the website).

Verdugo explains ’15 police investigation

FORT MYERS, Fla. — New Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo acknowledged his involvement in a 2015 incident in Arizona that led to police investigating the alleged sexual assault of a minor by another player.

No charges were ever filed, and, in response to a question from a Globe reporter on Saturday, Verdugo said he was “cleared of any wrongdoing” in the matter.

“With that being said, it was a terrible thing that happened. It was in my past,” Verdugo said. “It was something that I’ve grown from it; I’ve learned from it.”

 

To call that eyewash is an insult to saline solution everywhere.

In addition, a number of significant facts were conspicuously missing from the Globe story.

 

 

One other thing missing: Disclosure of John Henry’s dual ownership of the Boston GlobeSox.

And before you bother pelting me with tweets, a) no, everyone does not know that Henry owns ’em both, and b) even if everyone did know, the disclosure should still be in there.

Yes – every single time.


Boston Globe Rejects Anti-Impeachment Ad

December 16, 2019

A recent item in Politico’s Morning Score noted that “nearly $11.3 million has been spent on television ads in Democratic incumbents’ districts [between October 1 and December 6], according to data provided to Score by Advertising Analytics. A whopping $9.4 million of that has come from Republican groups, led by American Action Network’s $4.4 million.”

Representative anti-impeach ad from AAN, targeting Rep. Susie Lee in NV-03.

 

 

Of course, one group’s charade is another group’s sham – witness the theme of this full-page newspaper ad from America First Policies.

 

 

According to an AFP press release, $276,750 of the $2 million advertising campaign is going to a variety of newspapers.

But not the Boston Globe.

The stately local broadsheet rejected this version of the ad according to a Fox News  report last night. (It’s in two pieces due to technical difficulties.)

 

 

Nuts to you graf:

The Boston Globe told Fox News that the ad “does not meet our advertising acceptability standards” but that it was “open to reviewing a reworked version.” The paper also insisted that it accepted opinion advertisements “regardless of our editorial position on any given subject.”

However, according to America First Policies, the “modifications” the Globe suggested included removing the word “sham” and using a “better picture” of Pappas.

 

AFP, in turn, told Fox News that “more than two dozen papers approved its printing, including the Chicago Tribune, the Des Moines Register and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Kelly Sadler, the group’s communications director, added this: “We know the Boston Globe’s editorial board is pro-impeachment, but had no idea that bias extended to its sales department.”

The hardreading staff awaits the next shoe to drop.


Boston Globe Rips Off Home Delivery Subscribers

November 24, 2019

Ever since the Boston Globe’s Great Home Delivery Meltdown of 2016 and its 2017 move to a new printing facility, the hardreading staff has significantly lowered its expectations of the cheapskately local broadsheet. And the Globe has managed to fall short of even those.

What arrived at the door of the Global Worldwide Headquarters this morning was a sort of Globe Lite, given that the Globe Magazine and Parade were missing. Consequently, Two-Daily Town’s better half contacted what the Globe laughingly calls its Customer Service department to register our dismay and seek redress.

Alas, that was not to be.

The customer service rep said there would be no followup delivery of the missing sections and no credit for the foulup – not even an extension of our subscription, which the paper supposedly provides in response to a missed delivery. (The Wall Street Journal, by contrast, either delivers missing sections the next day or mails them to the subscriber.)

Is it any wonder, then, that there are currently 66 complaints against the Globe lodged with the Better Business Bureau, mostly from this year.

Representative sample:

Wait – we thought it was the Globe’s responsibility to respect its subscribers. We must be wrong.


Is Herb Chambers Driving Boston Globe Auto Section?

October 29, 2019

After the hardreading staff noted the Boston Globe’s ads-in-sheep’s-clothing inserts that have appeared in the paper the past two weeks, sharp-eyed reader Mark Laurence posted this comment.

How about the Boston Globe Auto section on Saturday and Sunday? The top half of the front page always has a glowing review of a new vehicle, in normal Globe typeface. The bottom half is always an ad from Herb Chambers selling that same vehicle. Yesterday it wasn’t even labeled as an advertising section.

 

Not to get technical about it, Mark, but it’s not really an advertising section. Seems more like an ad-liance.

It can hardly be a coincidence that on four of the past seven Sundays, a Herb Chambers ad below the fold offered the vehicle featured above it.

Representative sample: On October 20, Page One of the Globe’s Sunday Autos section contained an August 24 review of the 2020 Lincoln Aviator by the Detroit Free Press’s Mark Phelan.

 

 

As you can see, the featured vehicle in the ad is the 2020 Lincoln Aviator. Similar combos occurred on September 15, September 29, and October 27. Interestingly, the September 29th review spotlighted . . . the 2020 Lincoln Aviator. Herb must have a bunch of those sitting on the lot.

The question, of course, is this: Does the Globe give Chambers a heads-up on what review is running each Sunday, or does Chambers get to call the car? The harddriving staff would hate to think it’s the latter.

 


Boston Globe Using Slimy Law Firm to Bust Its Union

October 13, 2019

Well the hardreading staff was listening to the latest episode of Slate’s excellent Trumpcast when we heard Above the Law contributor Elie Mystal say this to host Virginia Heffernan.

Jones Day has been basically the legal farm team for the Trump administration. It’s where [former White House counsel Don] McGann comes from. And McGann has brought along a lot of his kind of cronies and partners. It is where I think for something like 17 Jones Day lawyers have either had positions in the Trump administration or been nominated to judgeships by the Trump administration . . . They are being sued right now for some really troubling sexual harassment and hostile work environment allegations of refusing to pay women partners as much as men . . . There was one allegation where a associate of color claims that Jones they doctored her picture on their website to make her look darker . . . and widened her nose and made her look darker with Photoshop to say ‘Look see we got a black one. Leave us alone.’ The thing about Jones  that people need to understand is that this is totally on brand for Jones Day . . . This is a firm that got their start as a big tobacco law firm.

 

Wait – isn’t Jones Day the law firm the Boston Globe hired to negotiate a new contract with its newsroom and business employees?

Yes indeed, as the Boston Business Journal’s estimable Don Seiffert reported last December.

Boston Globe hires law firm known for taking hard line with unions

With the Boston Globe’s contract with newsroom and business employees set to expire at the end of the year, the paper has hired a law firm with a reputation for taking a hard line on media unions when it comes to contract talks.

In a memo to members last week, the Boston Newspaper Guild, which says it represents about 300 workers at the Globe, said the company recently hired law firm Jones Day, saying the firm is “known for union-busting in the media industry.”

 

But it’s not just union-busting on Jones Day’s resume.

Self-styled local paragons John Henry and Linda Pizzuti Henry have hired an allegedly sexist, racist, ethically challenged law firm to represent them in a purportedly good faith labor negotiation with its employees.

As the Globe turns, eh?


Boston Globe’s Wet Kiss to Children’s: Rx for $$$

September 30, 2019

As the hardreading staff unfolded its Boston Sunday Globe yesterday, we encountered this notice at the bottom of Page One.

Except . . .

We also encountered this 68-page magazine nestled inside the paper.

 

 

Must be an advertising supplement for Boston Children’s Hospital, we thought, given its relentlessly sunny-side-up Table of Contents.

 

 

But, actually, the magazine was produced by Boston Globe staffers.

 

 

It’s one puff piece after another, interspersed with dozens of costly congratulatory ads.

But no mention in those 68 pages of the hospital’s wanton destruction of the beloved Prouty Garden, or the battle over the hospital’s questionable expansion to service a projected – but by no means assured – international clientele.

(To be clear graf goes here)

To be clear, this isn’t the first time the Globe has played footsie with BCH. As we previously noted:

Boston Globe $hilling Again for Children’s Hospital

This is getting really flagrant.

As the hardreading staff has noted multiple times, the Boston Globe has put on a full-court press over the past week promoting the proposed expansion of Boston Children’s Hospital.

Last week it was an op-ed piece from former Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation president Michael Widmer urging state officials to get off their duffs and approve the expansion, already. Problem was, the Globe failed to mention that Widmer sits on the hospital’s Board Committee for Community Service.

On Sunday, this Globe editorial urged the state’s Public Health Council to approve the project.

Now today comes this op-ed by Jack Connors Jr., chairman emeritus of Partners HealthCare.

 

Not to mention the Globe’s accepting full-page ads from Children’s as it supported the hospital’s expansion on its Business pages and providing op-ed space for BCH president and CEO Sandra Fenwick to plead her case unopposed by dissenting points of view, of which there have been many.

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, newspapers routinely produce vehicles largely designed to draw advertisers. This one just seems a little, well, germy.