The Christian Science Monitor reports this morning that the Boston Globe’s major union has rejected the New York Times Co. proposal to cut $10 million in pay and benefits as a means to alleviating some of the financial trouble the paper has incurred. The Globe, which lost $50 million last year and is slated to lose $85 million this year, reported that its union voted 277 to 265 to reject the measure. This has effectively allowed the Times to consider more serious meausres, including cuts of up to 23% and possible closing of the entire operation.
This is just another nail in the newspaper industry coffin as we’ve watched many popular publications like the Rocky Mountain News while others like Seattle PI are switching to all digital formats. While there have been many experts speculating on the future of print in an all digital world, there are some who have much deeper concerns for the state of newspapers.
I met a man over the weekend at the RI Sustainable Living Festival who was saddened and angered by the closing of newspapers across the country. But not because of the job losses or the death of a media source rich with tradition and history – no. His concern, rather, was for pregnant women, specifically those who may spontaneously go into labor and give birth on the street corner.
It’s a proven fact, he exclaimed, that newspapers are the most sanitary things available on the side of the street. What will we do without them? How will we wrap the babies?
As he quizzed me on what I would do in a situation where a woman standing next to me was about to birth her child on the street corner – what if I didn’t have a newspaper?
(When I carefully picked up my BlackBerry sitting on the table and said, Um, I’ll call 911? he didn’t seem too jazzed about that solution.)
Then I began to wonder. All this time, we in the PR and media industries have been focusing on determing what our future will hold with print mediums becoming a dying breed – we were missing key reason why this will have such a devastating effect on future generations. The epidemic we are facing – one where women will be abruptly giving birth on the side of the road with nothing but the shirts on their back to catch their newborn babe in – is far worse than anyone could have realized.
So spread the word, from coast to coast – we must save the newspaper industry from certain death – for the children.
Posted by: Ashley | follow me on Twitter