Boston Globe Packages Self-Promotion As News

September 28, 2019

The hardreading staff has diligently chronicled the Boston Herald’s tendency to turn publicity material into editorial content (see our ongoing series Hark! The Herald! for details of the selfie local tabloid’s puffery).

But, truth be told, the Boston Globe is not immune to that same temptation. As we noted not long ago, “the Boston Globe has lately done its share of self-promotion as well. There was all the hubbub in the newshole last month over the paper’s HUBweek festival, and this wet kiss for ‘Globe Live’ in the Names column last week.”

Now comes this front-page piece in yesterday’s $tately local broadsheet.

 

 

C’mon, Globeniks – that’s not news; it’s PR.

Rather than make poor Andy Rosen “report” your press releases, why not promote HubWeek the same way you do the GlobeDocs Film Festival?

 

 

Perhaps because . . . Linda Pizzuti Henry, the Globe’s managing director and wife of Globe owner John Henry, is also cofounder of HubWeek.

Perhaps.


Boston Globe ‘Reports’ on HUBweek (Sponsor: Globe)

September 20, 2016

From our Walt Whitman desk

The hardreading staff has long whacked around the Boston Herald for celebrating itself and singing itself in so-called news reports. Now it’s time to give the Boston Globe a dope slap.

For starters, here’s what headlined the Globe’s homepage at 12:45 this morning:

 

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That’s the residue of this Michael Levenson piece at the top of yesterday’s Globe front page:

HUBweek aims for wider appeal

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There will be a party in the South End with music, art installations, and an unusual tasting competition featuring six beers brewed with water from the Charles River that’s been purified (they promise) by a local company.

There will be intimate seven-person lunches in Kendall Square where anyone can ask a Broad Institute geneticist why science hasn’t cured cancer or delve into the dangers of artificial intelligence with a director of the Harvard Innovation Lab.

And just before the first presidential debate, a prominent philosopher will lead an even more high-minded debate at Faneuil Hall, asking: Is it fair to tax the rich to help the poor? And should rich countries have the right to restrict immigration?

Such are the events — both playful and provocative — that organizers are planning for the slightly revamped second year of HUBweek, a festival devoted to the arts, science, and technology that is aiming to become Boston’s answer to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

 

Reality check: Those four paragraphs feature roughly the same number of plugs as Joe Biden’s head.

It’s not until the sixth graf (on the jump page) that readers learn this:

[O]rganizers are . . .  grappling with how to ensure that the annual festival — which is sponsored by The Boston Globe, Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — does not cater solely to the business and academic elite in downtown Boston, the Seaport, and Cambridge, where most of the events are held.

 

Maybe the Globe should grapple with how to ensure that promotional material is not presented as news. The hardreading staff would be happy to participate in that high-minded debate.

Meanwhile . . . Free the Michael Levenson One! 


Boston Globe Turns ‘Spotlight’ Onto Itself

December 1, 2014

From our Walt Whitman desk

Naked self-promotion is normally the exclusive province of the Boston Herald hereabouts, but yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe gave the flirty local tabloid a run for its money with this Spotlight selfie.

Globe reporters tell their ‘Spotlight’ stories

For months in late 2001, the Globe’s Spotlight Team chipped away in secret at a story that at first seemed unimaginable — that a succession of cardinals and bishops in the Boston Catholic Archdiocese had for decades covered up the sexual abuse of countless children by priests. In many cases, Church leaders took no action to deny their Roman-collared child molesters access to children.

When the Globe began documenting the extensive abuse and the cover-up in January 2002, the story Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 1.25.04 AMexploded, first in Boston, then nationally and in countries around the world. In the Boston Archdiocese alone, an estimated 200 priests abused children. Nationally, it is at least 7,000 priests. The escalating disclosures continue, and have shaken the very foundation of the Church.

In September, director Tom McCarthy (“The Station Agent,” “Win Win”) and a cast of Hollywood names including Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Stanley Tucci began shooting a movie titled “Spotlight,’’ about the Globe’s investigation. The filmmakers used locations in Boston and in Toronto, where they re-created the Globe newsroom and the Spotlight Team’s offices. With camerawork expected to wrap in the Bay State on Sunday, the film is scheduled for release late next year.

 

Video here!

Oddly, Kathleen Conti’s Globe South/West piece in yesterday’s edition about the financial value of local movie productions failed to spotlight Spotlight.

 

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Maybe because most of the film was shot in Toronto?

Not to get technical about it.