Even in Death, BostonNOW Gets it Wrong

1208196632Word came down today that BostonNOW, the free commuter daily powered by free labor, Scientology-worship, and and a charming inability to spell words like “Israel” correctly, is shutting its doors.

Admittedly, it is bad karma to laugh when a print publication goes down, considering the likelihood that, at some point reasonably soon, every print journalist in Boston will be out of work. But let’s see you read the appallingly self-aggrandizing (and factually inaccurate) farewell letter NOW posted on its site today, and not start taking some cheap shots.

BostonNOW’s editorial content,” reads the un-bylined story, “especially its strong local reporting, has been picked up dozens of times by Boston’s paid dailies and TV outlets. The Economist magazine lauded BostonNOW in January as one of the finest free dailies in the United States.”

Hmm, we thought, as we read this. Sounds a little suspicious.

So, we found the 358-word Economist piece (titled “Reading the Metro“), and indeed, found that the estimable English magazine used only the most, er, glowing terms to describe the upstart NOW: “Metro‘s papers may not be giving American readers what they want. AM New York, a free daily that competes with Metro New York, has done well by focusing on local coverage. The newer BostonNOW is attempting to do the same thing.”

That’s it.

As for NOW being cited dozens of times by the dailies, that doesn’t seem to be right either. A Nexis search turns up four results for “BostonNOW” and none of them refer to a story NOW has broken, or to content provided by the paper. There are a couple of stories about the paper as a business, but not so much as a source of news or content. We can’t speak to TV, but this seems to be a case of NOW harboring a sense of self-importance that verges on, let’s say, “the Scientological.” (And it’s not the first time.)

And as if they hadn’t laid it on thick enough, here’s the kicker:

“Management’s primary concern right now is to help its suddenly displaced employees, who from scratch have created one of the most respected new dailies in the USA, find good newspaper and media work as soon as possible. A series of interviews, both on premises and off, are being set up with local media companies.”

… additionally, FEMA is being called in to help cope with this immense tragedy.