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Globe Editorial

Proven values enter new era as BostonGlobe.com debuts

THE ARRIVAL of BostonGlobe.com, like that of any treasured offspring, is an expression of faith in the future. This new website, which launches today, embodies and renews the values and ambitions that have guided its parent newspaper for 139 years. In this most potent of formats, there will be more ways to present the news, tell stories, and convey data. There will also be new and easy ways for readers to receive it. And the print newspaper will still be there on the doorstep for the hundreds of thousands of readers who make it an essential part of their day.

The new technologies behind BostonGlobe.com will help extend the Globe’s mission of service to Boston, New England, and the world, providing a state-of-the art version of the Globe newspaper for readers everywhere. It will continue the work of tens of thousands of reporters, editors, and business people over the years, through more than 40,000 editions.

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Journalism exists to provide information on which people can act. That information should be factually accurate and presented in a responsible manner. BostonGlobe.com, like the newspaper from which it was born, will be open to all the communities of Boston and New England. It will tell readers what they need to know about where they live, and about the nation and world beyond. It will be edited in a spirit of public service and rigorous adherence to standards of quality.

This model of news gathering, refined over the long and often colorful history of journalism, has drawn some skeptics and competitors in recent years. A wide spectrum of ideological websites has emerged to preach, often eloquently and effectively, to like-minded readers. With the ability to get only the news they want, some readers opted to see the world through the filters of people who share their views. The fairness promised by traditional journalistic outlets is regarded by some as a fatal even-handedness - a determination to find two sides to everything - and by others as a noble intention that newspapers haven’t sufficiently attained. Both can’t be true, and neither is, to any significant extent.

But the history of journalism teaches humility; there have been many occasions when journalists failed to live up to their ideals, and didn’t give people enough information, or the right information, to act. But history also teaches the enduring importance of those values of fairness and community service, which grew up as a corrective to the distortions of ideologically tinged journalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

By remaining proudly and steadfastly independent of all political parties and private agendas, and speaking only for its readers, journalism stands tall as a check on unmitigated power, and as a truly reliable source of news. BostonGlobe.com will be propelled by that strength as it carries Boston journalism into a new era.

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