To sign the petition to call on The Globe and the LA Times to drop their Coronona Virus coverage, click here: https://act.freepress.net/sign/journ_covid_globe_latimes
As we all collectively hunker down and #socialdistance, The Boston Globe taunts the unwashed masses with their coverage.
As of this writing, The Boston Globe still has their Corona Virus coverage behind a paywall.
Even Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell took time to call out the Globe for this action. We here at the Hassle, of course, believe restriction of information is unthinkable at a time like this (or any time) and runs antithetical to free press worldwide.
The message that this sends to Boston is that there are two types of information: information for the masses, and then information for Globe subscribers.
The Boston Globe, for their merit, have launched a web page dedicated to explaining their stance. But these measures pale to the fact that they could just suspend their paywall on Corona Virus coverage, as 99% of all other publications in the country are doing.
Further to humor The Boston Globe, I actually gave them my email to see their ‘CoronaVirus Now’ daily newsletter. I have just received the globe newsletter. The newsletter is laden with links to their coverage that you can’t access and is a hodgepodge of information you can easily access anywhere else, clearing giving the public a token of their coverage without actually giving us the real thing.
And oh wait, thanks Boston Globe’s Virus resources, here’s what I got: a wash my hands and use moisturizer puff piece, among a slew of either soft-core COVID-19 reporting acting virtually as good PR for insurers and biotech firms.
Even if STAT and boston.com, both in the media family of Boston Globe, offer free coverage, this is not good enough — Information needs to be easily accessible and verified to the public.
‘The lesson is nothing should be behind a paywall,” says Chris Faraone, editor of Digboston and editorial director of Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. Faraone continues: “It’s crazy that we’re sitting here, having this conversation. I was getting at them seven days ago thinking, sure, they’ll cave in. Nothing of the sort has happened…”
Just two major news organizations have Corona Virus coverage behind a paywall, and they are the LA Times and our own Boston Globe. It’s almost as if, in lieu of the NBA being cancelled, they are trying to renew the Boston-LA rivalry– this time for which major paper can be the bigger team of megalomaniacs.
“Look at the New York Times, they are increasing their subscribers to their email lists by saying ‘sign up for the email lists and get free virus coverage.’ The globe is not doing that.” Faraone states. “And the other thing is, the whole dollar for a couple months becomes $27 dollars a month, it may even be more now. This is a very cost-prohibitive paywall. We live in a caste and there are people who can afford to read the Globe and people who can’t.”
At this time, The Globe has yet to answer my request for an interview.
Free Press has also yet to answer my request for an interview.
Chris Hues is a human & writer from Boston, Ma & Associate Editor of bostonhassle.com. //// They can be reached at [email protected] or @crsjh_ via instagram & twitter.