The U.S. newspaper industry is seen better days; no doubt about that.

But when the New York Times Co. began talking about shutting down the venerable Boston Globe, even the industry optimists took note. The Globe is has won 20 Pulitzers in its history.

Still, the Globe is on pace to lose $85 million this year, and its New York owners are demanding sharp concessions from the Globe’s unions. Several other papers already have closed this year, but none with the history and reputation of the Boston Globe.

“It’s almost impossible to think of Boston without the Globe,” writes Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson. “With its great universities and cultural institutions, the city thinks of itself as a modern-day Athens, the Hub of the Universe. How could Boston exist without the erudite, patrician Globe, which so often seems to be looking down its nose at the rest of the world?

Click here to read Robinson’s column in full.

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