In a column that'll be online this afternoon, I take vigorous issue with the notion--advanced by George Snell and others--that the Globe's (alleged) liberal bias is one of the reasons it's failing.
But Snell's point about the excessively boutique-y nature of much Globe content strikes me as worth pondering (even though I think the paper's problems are, for the most part, those of the newspaper industry as a whole). The Globe "embrac[ed] elitism," Snell contends, in two damaging ways:
First by its hiring practices of editors and reporters. The fastest way to get hired by the Globe? Have a degree from an Ivy League college. In the last decade, the Globe rarely recruited young talent from the smaller and regional newspapers in New England. I worked at the Telegram & Gazette in Worcester for more than a decade (the 5th largest newspaper in New England), yet not one reporter or editor while I was there was hired by the Globe - and it wasn’t for a lack of effort by the T&G staff. The Globe shunned locally trained journalists in favor of those with better pedigrees. As a result, they built a staff of like-minded individuals mostly culled from upper echelons of society.
Second they began to write specifically for this class of people - mostly white and affluent and living in the Boston suburbs. They became obsessed with real estate, gourmet cooking, home decorating, Harvard University, technology gadgets, travel, restaurants and child care. The content was often maddeningly skewered to this wealthy suburban audience often assuming that every reader faced the same challenges when redesigning a 1,000-square-foot kitchen or throwing a dinner party for 18 after a Tanglewood concert. This was the ultimate betrayal of the Globe’s working and blue-collar readers.
Now, I'd argue that hiring out-of-towners isn't bad per se: in fact, people from elsewhere might be equipped to look critically at local tics/traditions/habits in a way natives aren't. (Disclosure: I'm from Minnesota.)
But hiring from the socioeconomic creme de la creme is another matter. And as someone who doesn't have a lot of excess cash to play with, the Globe's eagerness to cater to affluenza sufferers frequently stirs up my inner Marxist. Then again, that's where the ad dollars are, so maybe I'm being irrational....
What say you, readers? Anybody cancelled your Globe subscription because you can't stand the Luxe Life coverage?
[Via Universal Hub]