The Boston Globe


The Boston globe has been Boston’s newspaper since 1822, and has under gone many changes since its conception. I am comparing the October 26, 2002 edition to the April 3, 1952 edition. This paper will illustrate the decreased importance of international issues in this newspaper by comparing front-page story selections, how it has expanded into more sections and greater length, and how the physical look of the paper has changed in some ways and not in others in two editions of the Old Colony Memorial published 50 years apart.


“Air Raid Test Set for May 3rd by Town” headlines the April 3, 1952 edition of the Old Colony Memorial, as opposed to “Players Sacked for Watching Sex Tape” the headline for the October 26th edition of the Old Colony. These two headlines are different for many reasons. The first reason being in 1952 the headline is connected to international events, because of the Cold War occurring between America and the Soviet Union. The 2002 headline is connected to a local scandal in the high school involving the football team and a highly controversial videotape. A sub headline in 1952 reads “Gas issue hits Town”, and in 2002 “Long Pond Road opening wider.” The Gas issue was again connected to events occurring beyond the town at a federal level, which is directly connected to international events. In 2002 however Long Pond Road is a local road in Plymouth that residents have wanted to see expanded for years. The third lead story appearing on the cover in 1952 reads “Red Cross below quota”, and in 2002 “Board offers opposing view,” pertaining to the zoning board in Plymouth rejecting an appeal from a local resident. The Red Cross story is concerning the local Red Cross being below quota, which is a federal organization that also does work on the international level.


All articles appearing in 2002 are directly connected to the town of Plymouth and events occurring within the town. While in 1952 all lead stories are connected to the town, but they are connected to the town because of international events. In the past international news and events had a greater impact on small town life, and the way the newspaper would have to report on these events. In 2002, you can scavenge through the entire newspaper and not find one story even remotely connected to an international event.


Over the years the Old Colony grew in length from 20 pages in 1952 to over 75 pages in 2002. With the growing length of the paper came a need for more sections in 1952. You could only find one section within the paper and that was the sports section that was two pages long. There were two other pages with editorials and classified/want ads but other than that no other sections were in the newspaper. In 2002 the Old Colony has a 20 page classified section, which amazingly equals the entire length of its 1952 counter part. The paper also boasts a 25-page news section, which has sub sections that contain obituaries, fire log, police log, opinions, legal notices, and District Court happenings and dates. The sports section is 10 pages long, and a weekend section that also consists of 10 pages. The growing length and sections of the newspaper are because of the booming population growth occurring in the town of Plymouth. In 1952 the town did not have as large of a population, so there was just not as much news. Another factor in the length of the paper is the readership has increased over the years as the paper expands to a wider array of people.


The physical look of the Old Colony has barely changed in 50 years, the title is written in the exact same way in the exact same location on the top of the paper. One part that has changed is the price that read 10 cents in 1952 and 1 dollar in 2002. Another part of the paper that looks differently is the content of the paper in 1952 you see a lot more advertisements throughout the newspaper and on the cover. In 2002 the ads are more centrally located in certain areas. It is not surprising that