What is news worth?
The Boston Globe is betting that Bostonians are willing to pay a lot more for their online news. The newspaper on Monday is boosting the price of its digital subscriptions from $3.99 to $6.93 a week.
Globe officials defend the 74 percent increase, the first hike since it erected the paywall in 2011, by saying quality journalism costs money, a concept that everyone recognizes but which nevertheless has been slow to catch on in the news business. A survey of other publications indicates the Globe’s new digital subscription price will be among the highest in the nation. Still, it adds up to less than $1 a day.
Dan Kennedy, an associate professor of journalism at Northeastern University and the author of the Media Nation blog, tweeted out the million-dollar question this morning: “Is the @BostonGlobe pushing too hard in its latest digital rate increase?”
No one seemed to be answering Kennedy’s question on Twitter, but Kyle Clauss, a writer for Boston magazine, offered his take in a small piece on the price hike. “As a news writer, I welcome the hike and wholeheartedly support the idea of supporting quality journalism,” he wrote. “As a news consumer, I ready my cursor over my browser’s Incognito Mode button, wallet unscathed.”
Gov. Charlie Baker prepares to sign the fiscal 2016 budget and name the members of the MBTA’s new fiscal control board. (Associated Press)
Unions are unhappy with the hits they’ve taken at the hands of the House of Representatives, and are plotting their revenge strategy. (Boston Globe)
Senate President Stanley Rosenberg says he would favor an increase in stipends for lawmakers who perform special duties. (State House News)
A bill to ban Level 2 and 3 sex offenders from living in public housing could run into trouble on Beacon Hill. (MassLive)
A Lowell Sun editorial suggests the Baker administration’s Department of Housing and Community Development may be playing politics by refusing to approve the Billerica Housing Authority’s selection of Robert Correnti as director. Correnti is a Democrat.
Go Local Worcester takes a look at some seldom-enforced and outdated laws in the state such as the ban on driving with a gorilla in the backseat. Presumably, shotgun is the preferred arrangement.
A Globe editorial again calls for an end for the state’s film tax credit, saying the Legislature’s refusal to do so (it’s really the House’s refusal) “amounts to nothing less than throwing tens of millions of dollars’ worth of good money after bad.”
A court ruling is allowing a lawsuit to proceed that challenges a deal Boston struck granting the Boston Red Sox the right to fence off much of Yawkey Way for commercial on game days. The judge seems very dubious of the designation of the the neighborhood as a “blighted area,” which was key to the Boston Redevelopment Authority move to award the rights to the team without an open-bidding process. (Boston Globe) Related Beal development company is also poised to get a tax break designed for blighted areas for a project near North Station, drawing the ire of critics who call it a tax giveaway. (Boston Herald)
Based on a recent Civil Service ruling, an Eagle-Tribune editorial provocatively says being corrupt is a job requirement in Methuen.
Brockton and state officials announced a plan to remake the downtown area into a more transit-oriented and walkable neighborhood under a program designed to transform the state’s Gateway Cities. (The Enterprise)
Records show Quincy officials spent $4.8 million to acquire nine homes and a vacant parcel around North Quincy High School. The officials plan to raze the homes and then build a parking lot and sports field on the sites. (Patriot Ledger)
Lenox hotel and meal tax revenues spurred by tourism are helping to pay for town services. (Berkshire Eagle)
Evan Falchuk and his coalition partners file their ballot question language that would bar the use of taxpayer money for the Olympics. (WBUR) The draft language says, in part, that no state agency, authority or entity shall directly or indirectly spend funds, issue tax credits or incentives, incur debt or take any private property by eminent domain “to procure, aid or remediate the effects” of the games.
Boston Olympics supporters and opponents will face-off in a one-hour televised debate next Thursday. (Boston Globe)
The Hub’s black leaders are not happy about Boston 2024. (Boston Business Journal)
Shirley Leung says Olympic opposition and ongoing battles against an Everett casino show that Boston is the “City that Never Lets Anything Happen.”
Veteran Olympics reporter John Powers throws a lot of cold water on the Boston 2024 plan and its prospects. (Boston Globe)
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s ever-expanding casino lawsuit is so far more smoke than smoking gun. (CommonWealth)
A gunman in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killed four Marines and wounded three others at a military training facility and a recruiting center in what officials say was an act of “domestic terrorism.” The gunman, who was not on any government radar for terrorists, also died but officials are not saying under what circumstances. (New York Times) Among those killed was Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, a Springfield native. (The Republican)
The president of Planned Parenthood apologized for the flippant tone of one of the group’s doctors in discussing the use of fetal tissue in an undercover sting video by a pair of anti-abortion activists but she says the 100-year-old health organization does nothing illegal or unethical. (New York Times) The Herald continues to work the story.
Why young people are turning to micro-housing. (Christian Science Monitor)
Michael Widmer makes the case for charging in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants. (CommonWealth)
A Framingham HIgh School survey finds that teachers would appreciate more opportunities to collaborate and more consistency from administrators. (MetroWest Daily News)
State officials announced the first positive test for West Nile virus this year was found in the western Massachusetts town of Sheffield. (Associated Press)
One of Google’s self-driving cars is rear-ended, causing minor injuries to the passengers inside. It was the first time passengers had been injured in the cars. (Time)
Kinder Morgan decides to move forward with a $3.3 billion, 30-inch natural gas pipeline from New York state to Dracut. The company had earlier considered a 36-inch pipeline. (Eagle-Tribune) The Globe says the company is pushing ahead with plans despite not yet having customers lined up for half of the pipeline’s capacity. (Boston Globe)
At least five South Shore coastal communities have commissioned studies to gauge the long-range impact of climate change. (Patriot Ledger)
James Holmes was found guilty of 165 counts of murder and attempted murder for the bloody rampage at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater in 2012 where he killed 12 people and wounded 70 others. (New York Times)
The Boston Police Department spent $748,000 in overtime for costs associated with security at the trial of convicted Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. (Boston Herald)
MEDIAThe co-founder of Reddit has returned as chief executive of the struggling online messaging board and announced a sweeping new content policy that bans posting private or confidential information, sexual content involving minors, spam, and illegal activity and harassment. (New York Times). The former Reddit CEO argues that the trolls are winning. (USA Today)
The National Journal is suspending its weekly print edition. (Washington Post)