The Federal government hasn't seriously entertained the idea of bailing out the newspaper industry, but that doesn't mean they aren't aware of it. Especially where the troubled Boston Globe in concerned. Last week, the entire Congressional delegation from Massachusetts signed a letter, beseeching Arthur Sulzberger, Jr, the Chairman of the New York Times Company, who own the Globe, to not shut down the paper.
The letter reads:
Dear Mr. Sulzberger:
We are concerned over the future of The Boston Globe in light of reports that the New York Times Company is seriously considering shutting the doors of our hometown newspaper.
For well over a century, The Globe has been an immense asset to Boston and all of New England. It's been the paper of record; a force for positive change and civic activism; a cultural touch point; and a workplace that has always valued the contributions of every employee from typesetters, press operators, mailers and drivers to reporters and editors. It's been a consistent source of news for the people of Massachusetts, and a constant reminder that the press serves an indispensable role in our free society.
We understand the serious financial challenges facing the newspaper industry today. The ramifications, however, of closing The Boston Globe would far outlive the current recession. The Globe has a long-established public trust with this community and the New England region. Its closure wold be an irreplaceable loss for our city, state, and region and for countless readers across the nation.
The hard-working men and women of The Boston Globe know better than anyone that sacrifices will be necessary to continue the newspaper. We urge you to treat The Globe fairly and to work together on a solution to this immediate crisis that preserves the newspaper for the future.
We appreciate your consideration of this request and we look forward to discussing The Globe's future with you.
It is signed by Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, along with U.S. Representatives Edward Markey, Barney Frank, Richard Neal, John Olver, James McGovern, John Tierney, William Delahunt, Michael Capuano, and Niki Tsongas.
It's very pretty to think that the signatories, as they say, "understand the serious financial challenges facing the newspaper industry today." The fact that those problems are framed as products of "the current recession" and "this immediate crisis," indicates that this might not be the case!