I feel strongly that newspapers and their news sites are going to rely upon the support of subscribers to a large extent in order to provide what readers want. It is a newspaper’s responsibility to create enough value to cause readers to subscribe to their services and advertisers to advertise. The Globe must continue to be the best vehicle for businesses to reach customers in the region. But to do so, it must maintain the kind of strong content that Boston Globe readers demand.
I believe each of us has a role to play in this community. The Globe gives us a source of information on which to act, but today, great journalism can not only enlighten and inform, but also facilitate discussions through which people can come together and act.
We as a society used to spend countless hours watching and sharing a limited amount of media mainly through television programs. Ironically, we now have increasingly significant social isolation and alienation as a byproduct of the rise of social media tools that overwhelm young people. These tools need to be designed to provide for more maturity, restraint, and responsibility.
Ironically, we also seem to no longer have any time because of time-saving devices. As a parent, I see kids completely immersed in Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and messaging. One of the attractions of summers at Fenway Park is seeing families actually sitting together and conversing for three hours rather than sitting in different worlds at home.
We live with what the writer and thinker Clay Shirky has identified as a “cognitive surplus.” We need ways to move from consumption to activation. The Globe can be a catalyst for activism across a broad range of interests. The same technologies that breed loneliness in some contexts can provide opportunities for people to connect with one another meaningfully and make differences in each other’s lives. These differences don’t have to be earth-shattering to be of great significance. We live in a time in this region with terrific opportunities to lead.
The Globe, BostonGlobe.com, Boston.com, and its related sites are ties that bind together a community that has a significant role to play. Together, these platforms can be your key to the city and to the hearts and minds of others in your community. It is up to the Globe and to you to be partners in the future of this region. Contribute through letters, comments, op-eds, events you want sponsored, advertisements, blogs, charities, and, most of all, ideas — this is a city of ideas. Contribute and all of us at The Boston Globe will fight alongside you for the role this community has to play in shaping the world our kids are going to inherit. Let us inspire them to want to follow the lead of our hearts, resolve, and accomplishments.