City Desk

A Victory for On-the-Record Journalism

In an interview on the future of his own newspaper, Boston Globe Publisher P. Steven Ainsley gives great answers to an array of questions about revenue-enhancing strategies, reporting the news, and staff morale at the latest most beleaguered daily in the country.

Deep into the discussion, Ainsley talks about how the Globe, despite money-losing ways, remains a much better bet for advertisers than its competition: "We still have twice the circulation of the next largest daily newspaper in Boston." That would be the Boston Herald, with a daily circulation of about 150,000, compared to the Globe's 300,000.

And here's how the interview went from that point:

Q. Since you mention the other newspaper in town, any comments on their coverage which has sort of zeroed in on you at times?

A. I'd be happy to go off the record with you.

Q. No.

A. I'd really rather not comment on that.

Brilliant! The more often journalists do just that—resist the lazy move to off-the-record discussions with people in positions of power, the better off readers will be. Not that it'll do a damn thing to, like, save journalism.

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