Boston Globe Project: Covering the ‘Death of a Newspaper’

The recent news surrounding the future of the Boston Globe has landed in our backyard here in Amherst, so I’ve assigned the students in my multimedia class to cover the ‘Death of a Newspaper’ as their final multimedia project.

As the coverage has outlined, the union at the Boston Globe now has 30 days to meet the demands of the New York Times Co.   That timing should work out well for the project.

The students have roughly 4 1/2 weeks to complete the project and will be doing news packages combining text, video, audio slideshows and podcasts.  The class will be divided up into teams and each team will make at least one road trip to the Boston area to do reporting.

If you have any contacts within the Boston Globe or outside that would be willing to talk to my students, please contact me.  My office number: (413) 545-5923.

Here are possible story angles (each team will choose two):

Readers’ reactions to Boston without the Globe.  This should include a road trip to Boston but could/should include interviews with readers in the Amherst area and throughout Massachusetts as well.  Could be either text, audio slideshows or video.

* Academics and Insiders perspectives.  This could be wide-ranging but would look at the ‘expert’ point of views and the ongoing debate about where the practice of journalism and the business component are headed (not necessarily in the same direction.)  Depending on who you interview, one interview could lead to an angle that would result in a standalone text piece and/or podcast.

* Historical evolution.  I’m thinking we could come up with a pretty cool timeline looking at the history of The Globe and/or history of the profession.  This could be two separate pieces and would actually be strong as a text piece or podcast.

An Inside Look.  This would take some legwork, but trying to get interviews/comments with reporters/editors from inside The Globe — as well as former reporters/editors.  Could be a strong video and/or audio slideshow.

•    The Crisis:  A look at the current crisis facing the industry.  This could be a combination of interviews and/or an interactive timeline.

•    The Future.  A look at other opportunities within Boston/Mass./New England – include looks at citizen journalism, blogging, NECIR, etc.  Could be a strong text piece or podcast.

Any help, suggestions you can offer will be more than welcome.




About journalismprof

Steve joined the journalism faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in August 2007 and has been working to incorporate multimedia across the curriculum. Since arriving at UMass, Steve has developed three courses modeled after his multimedia journalism course. The courses allow students to work in teams in a newsroom-like environment where they work on packages -- using video, audio and photos to tell stories. He is also working with students on developing, a news Web site staffed completely by students. Steve has more than 25 years of experience as an editor and reporter for print and online publications, including 10 as an editor at He also edits part-time for with the NFL and college football network.
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3 Responses to Boston Globe Project: Covering the ‘Death of a Newspaper’

  1. Allison says:

    Your tweet about this subject caught my eye. I am a senior Journalism major at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, and a few of my classmates and I are doing a similar project for our Advanced Reporting class. We’re just getting started, so I’m afraid I don’t have any sources you may be able to use. However, we’ve been looking into international data that may suggest newspapers are doing better, perhaps even thriving, overseas. Could be an interesting angle for your students to look at. Good luck!

  2. Deehan says:

    If you need any Boston-based help with this, I can probably assist. I work in the state house down the hall from the Globe guys. And since I’m a reporter, I live in abject poverty in Dorchester and can see the Globe building from my balcony. Best of both worlds, really.
    For a little inspiration on covering the less-trodden aspects of this story, I recommend Bill Forry’s article on how the closure would affect working class families in Dorchester:
    I’ve done a story or two for the Dot. Reporter, so maybe I should disclaim that. Good piece, either way.
    Give me a shout: @deehan, mwdeehan@gmail, mwdeehan on AIM. I’m easy to get a hold of.

  3. BJ Roche says:

    Hi folks, I just got an Email from O’Neil and Associates in Boston, who are working on a Save the Globe project. Get in touch with Cosmo Macero there, he’s one of our alums.

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