While the Hub's paper of record appears to have escaped the wrath of its New York Times parent company, editors are certainly gearing for adjustments. On the Web and business end, the Globe has retreated behind a pay wall; on the reporting side, WGBH radio host Callie Crossley predicts, attention will continue shifting further toward local news, and away from the international bureaus that the paper once took great pride in.
In the hyper-local realm, the Globe will continue battling Gatehouse Media's Wicked Local outlets and AOL's Patch network, which continues hiring journalists to cover Boston neighborhoods. Who ultimately wins? Bill Forry, managing editor of the Dorchester Reporter, suspects that established community papers have pole position on Boston's new-media landscape. "The most important thing about local is that it has to be authentic," he says. "No matter what happens with the future of all this, you have to have an institutional memory and the sources to get there first."
When it comes time for the Red Sox to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their epic 2004 World Series victory, they'll still be playing in historic Fenway Park. Every sports fan and reporter we spoke with guaranteed that Fenway Park will remain open past its 100th anniversary in 2012, and perhaps even until 2029. But while that old Kenmore relic — and its illuminated Citgo crown — will likely remain standing, WEEI columnist Paul Flannery suspects the sports media are in for a shakeup, as an avalanche of new-media pundits and bloggers replace the radio and back-page commentators who have enjoyed megaphone status for decades.We couldn't find anyone willing to lay money on whether Boston will ever see an ultimate season: concurrent championship runs from the Celtics, Bruins, Pats, and Sox. Given the disappointing end to the Patriots' season, and with the Celtics facing major coach and player contracts expiring next season, the clock appears to be running out. "If it doesn't happen soon, it's never going to happen," says blogger Ken Fang of Fang's Bites. "If we're going to be the city that's hated by every sports fan in every league, this is the time to do it."
Experts say you'll soon get health care at your doorstep: the trend is getting away from sending patients to mega-institutions, and toward smaller, community-based centers. And that future is already taking shape here. In November, the New York–based Steward Health Care System purchased six Caritas Christi Health Care hospitals in eastern Massachusetts. With a reinvigorated mission to deliver care close to where patients live (and to lure people away from downtown hospitals), this month Caritas appointed Bill Walczak as president of Carney Hospital in Dorchester. A hero in Boston's neighborhood-care community, Walczak co-founded the Codman Square Health Center in 1979, and inspired operations like the Dot House, Mattapan, and Codman community-health centers, which received a combined $26.5 million in federal stimulus money in 2010.
Caritas is also ahead of yet another trend in Boston health care: empowering the biggest workforce in the Hub to form unions. "There's an unfortunate history of executives at Boston hospitals running aggressive intimidation campaigns against workers," says Jeff Hall, communications director for the 1199 chapter of the Service Employees International Union. "Caritas deserves a lot of credit for allowing workers to organize; one of the best things that could happen for Boston is for every hospital job — including all service and blue-collar jobs — to be good jobs with affordable health care."