Got to wonder if an article like this http://tinyurl.com/mvozfj (“As weekly paper closes, black community loses a voice: Bay State Banner falls victim to the downturn,” Boston Globe, June 8 2009) will excite the saver putting money in a savings account at-a-rate-like-no-other-time-in-history, enough to pull out some to invest in the Boston Banner?
What will they want to know more to do it and is that explained adequately in the article? Probably not!
Tomorrow, the Banner will likely update BostonBanner.com with more relevant information about their financial situation.
Used to be that Boston banks who loan money to local businesses to cover receivables and such wanted to see $2 in current cash assets for every $1 of the credit line requested, but perhaps times have changed all that.
Media mongul Rupert Murdoch was quoted recently as saying “newspapers have to charge more for content.” This is probably right, but then again, his Myspace interactive media property has had huge layoffs recently and the digerati on Techcrunch.com are saying their comeback against FaceBook is next to impossible, even though Myspace revenue from digital sales stretches towards $500 million a year gross.
So what could the average Boston Banner reader say to help save the Banner? They could say “no more free newspapers, charge us and we’ll pay.” Could be a lesson to be learned considering….
If the Boston Banner closes (let’s hope it doesn’t) there will be a slew of minority-culture indie publications attempting to its place. I do mean “print” like sheets of paper, not web sites.
Black media web sites in Boston aren’t newspapers but a lot of people read them. The Boston Black web cloud is free from the constraints of journalism theory, although they have learned a few tricks from journalists and reporters.
Predictions on possibilities:
Consider Color Magazine – they could take on an expansion to capture some of the print territory the Banner leaves behind if they can handle that financially. The publication is distributed on the street now and in many locations their boxes sit right beside the Banner’s. To do so may encourge them to drop the word “magazine” from their title, print less glossy pages and scratch the word “[diversity] as in hire-me-I’m colored” from their masthead.
Consider Unity First, a newspaper/magazine that been going strong for at least 20 years. They have a good audience and had roots in Boston.
Can’t leave this post without mentioning the Dorchester Reporter newspaper. DR already covers topics found in the Banner and its a great paper.
Then there is the unique Black Bostonian newspaper which has its own tribe and voice… The El Planeta / Boston Latino media orgs – any of these could become players, but will they?
Probably the best possible outcome for continuing operations at the Banner is to influence a saver, not the VCs, to jump into the pop and help it break through. So saver, when you do it, take away that word “free” on the Banner’s header and put a price on it.
Boston will pay for the Banner, I think.