Yin and yang

The Boston Globe and the Herald cover the same city, but sometimes you’d never know if from reading the respective newspapers.

Today, for example, the two papers were more in sync than usual. They both featured on Page One stories about the city of Boston’s push for more in-lieu-of-tax money from its nonprofit sector. The Herald headline was a huge “Cough it up!” while the Globe went with “City asks exempt sector for help.”

The Globe rounded out its front page with stories on the state’s health insurers filing a lawsuit against the Patrick administration and federal regulators fining Toyota $16.4 million. There were also features on technology confusion among elders and Teach for America’s local recruits, as well as a large picture of the bombed US consulate in Pakistan.

The Herald’s front page had a very different emphasis. It featured a big picture of Tiger Woods, who the newspaper delights in calling the “links lothario.” There were also teasers for a column about a “cussing kid,” Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett’s new contract, and state Treasurer Timothy Cahill’s condemnation of the Lawrence bailout. The Pakistan bombing and the Toyota fine were relegated to short stories on inside pages.

One area where the Globe and the Herald seem to be on the same page is celebrity gossip. The Inside Track is one of the Herald’s top features and Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa can dish with the best of them. The Globe’s Names page is less racy and carries fewer provocative pictures, but increasingly it features many of the same items. Today was no exception. It even managed to work a reference to Gisele Bundchen into a totally unrelated item about someone named Mayim Bialik.

The differences between the Herald and the Globe are nothing new to Bostonians, but all too often the readers of one paper tend to write off the other one. The truth is that the Globe and the Herald are the yin and yang of Boston news coverage, and the only way to get a complete picture is to read both.

Bruce Mohl is the Editor of CommonWealth magazine.

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