Boston Papers Gearing Up to Cover Dems

By: Joe Strupp

One unusual aspect of The Boston Globe’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention next week may have Editor Martin Baron and other journalists reaching for the Maalox.

Inside the paper’s 16-page special convention section — which will run daily during the four-day event — will be a two-page spread focusing specifically on media coverage of the convention.

Independently produced by the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and the Neiman Foundation at Harvard University, the “Media Nation” pages will offer a critical look at how the press is reporting on the city’s biggest political event.

“I’m assuming we will be covered, too,” Baron said. “It will be a look at the performance of the media who are here. In many ways, this is a media event.”

Baron said he encouraged the approach after representatives of the two colleges approached the Globe (Click for QuikCap) about doing it as a separate publication. “We are often the subject of coverage and it is an area that ought to be covered,” Baron said. “One way to get 15,000 members of the media who are here to read the Boston Globe is to cover them.”

In addition to the four days of special broadsheet sections, the Globe is planning a 24-page tab section to run Sunday called “Boston Insider.” Described as a guide to local neighborhoods and other interesting elements, it is also is being mailed to all 4,000 delegates this week.

Another special broadsheet section, set for Monday’s paper, “The New Boston,” will provide 24 pages of stories and information about life in the city today, Baron said. “It is a look at Boston’s role as a city of innovation in technology, with a sports obsession and the changing demographics of the city, and the changing face,” he said.

In all, Baron predicts about 100 editors, reporters, photographers and other staffers will be working on convention coverage through next week.

Across town at the rival Boston Herald, Editorial Director Ken Chandler promised special coverage each day, but said specific page counts had not been determined. He expected some kind of pull-out or wrap-around or other special section to be created, but declined further details.

“The Globe, I imagine, will write ‘War and Peace’ each day and attempt to be the paper of record,” Chandler said. “We will take a different approach. We will personalize it, have more human interest stories, the parties and celebrities.”

About 50 Herald newsroom staffers will be involved in all aspects of coverage, Chandler said, adding that the paper would distribute free copies to a select number of delegates at about 10 hotels.

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