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‘Spotlight’ editor on retirement: Clergy abuse coverage has permanently changed church

Martin Baron Spotlight Retirement

Title: ‘Spotlight’ editor on retirement: Clergy abuse coverage has permanently changed church
Author: Christopher White
Publisher: National Catholic Reporter
Date:  26FEB2021

When Martin Baron, one of the most consequential newspaper editors in America, announced his upcoming retirement, he cited his work overseeing the Boston Globe’s coverage of clergy sexual abuse and cover-up as a highlight of his journalistic career.”I think the impact has been really quite profound on several levels,” he told NCR ahead of his retirement. “One on investigative journalism, the other on the Catholic Church and then more broadly on institutions that are facing allegations of abuse of various types, but particularly sexual abuse.”

Baron, who will retire as executive editor of The Washington Post on Feb. 28 and who previously helmed the Globe and the Miami Herald, led news coverage of the Florida presidential ballot recount in 2000, the 9/11 terrorists attacks, the historic election of President Barack Obama, two impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump and a global pandemic.

Yet it was his Spotlight team’s pioneering work in 2001 and 2002, which earned the Globe a Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for chronicling decades of abuse in the Boston Archdiocese and subsequent cover-up by the most powerful Catholic cleric in the country, Cardinal Bernard Law, that would be turned into an Academy Award-winning film in 2015 in which Baron was memorably portrayed by Liev Schreiber.

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