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Spotlight on Spotlight – CommonWealth Magazine

Questions about ballot questions - CommonWealth Magazine

For greater than 50 years, the Boston Globe’s award-profitable Spotlight group – not the identical individuals, they do change them – has, pardon the pun, put a highlight on corruption, scandal, and inequity within the area.

From exposing James “Whitey” Bulger as an FBI informant to revealing slothful schedules of Massachusetts judges to uncovering redlining by mortgage corporations in minority neighborhoods to pulling again the veil on clergy intercourse abuse within the Catholic church, Spotlight has outlined the perfect in investigative journalism for these in and out of doors of the business. For many years, reporters pined to ascend to a spot on the workforce, the mere point out of the Spotlight identify despatched shivers down the again of pols receiving calls from the reporters, and readers would eagerly anticipate the Sunday morning supply of the primary in a collection on a topic.

However with the huge decline in readership of newspapers, reporting itself might not be sufficient to interact readers. The newest iteration of Spotlight, which produced final yr’s collection on race in Boston, was the fulcrum for a bit this week on Comedy Central’s The Every day Present. With a pair photographs of the collective group that did the collection, the present’s roving “correspondent” Ron Wooden did a phase on “How racist is Boston?” Reporter Akilah Johnson performed the straight-confronted foil to an interview with Wooden, who made some more and more, type-of-humorous however outlandish statements and actions.

Whereas Johnson, and the Spotlight group itself, willingly participated in what was a satirical take a look at Boston’s racist fame. Utilizing the paper’s studies as the inspiration for the bit is a brand new flip in selling the journalism of a information outlet in at this time’s on-line world.

There are some oldtimers (hand raised) who assume the tales are too necessary for use as fodder for a comedy sketch. We additionally assume that when the reporters themselves develop into a part of the story, it dilutes the main target. However others argue that a diminished viewers for newspapers, whether or not print or on-line, requires extra proactive actions in unconventional methods to get the knowledge in entrance of extra eyes. It’s a legitimate argument.

Spotlight is turning into a helpful model for the Globe and proprietor John Henry. Youthful generations haven’t any allegiance or information of the legendary Robert Healey, Gerry O’Neill, Dick Lehr, or the lately retired Steve Kurkjian. Some might know Walter Robinson, Mike Rezendes, or former editor Marty Baron solely as a result of they have been performed by Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Liev Schrieber, respectively, within the Oscar-profitable film Spotlight.

As many level out, although, the film was not merely concerning the intercourse abuse scandal, however the typically-mundane but laborious seek for knowledge and knowledge tidbits that, put collectively, make a compelling and necessary investigative information story. It was journalism at its greatest. And, like All of the President’s Males greater than 40 years in the past, it’s spurring new curiosity in youthful reporters stepping into the enterprise.

With The Day by day Present skit, Johnson and the opposite Spotlight reporters did little greater than lend their identify and their reporting to the phase. However, in flip, they’re getting an enormous return. Social media lit up with hyperlinks and references to the video and Spotlight’s look. They hailed the phase as a method to relay the workforce’s journalism by way of a extremely watched present nationally in a humorous and accessible method.

Apparently, Wooden took his digital camera and microphone to Fenway Park, additionally owned by Henry, to interview followers about whether or not they thought Boston was racist. (Whites, “no,” blacks, “yes.”) It was a cross promotion two-fer for Henry, who additionally lately led the cost to vary the identify of Yawkey Method due to the late proprietor’s alleged racist attitudes. Henry was capable of not solely spotlight his paper and his sports activities workforce however get consideration for a problem that clearly resonates with him. That the spoof made a few of his (white) paying clients seem like clueless dolts apparently was irrelevant.

In the long run, perhaps getting individuals to learn the arduous and necessary work of actual reporters and newspapers is what issues, not how they acquired there.



Fuel explosions and greater than 60 fires rocked Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, leaving one man lifeless, at the least 25 injured, and prompting evacuation orders for hundreds of residents. (Boston Globe) Officers say 60 to 80 fires and no less than three explosions occurred within the three municipalities. (Eagle-Tribune) US Rep. Seth Moulton says the president of Columbia Fuel, the utility serving the areas hit, didn’t return his calls. (MassLive)

Somerville will not formally observe Columbus Day and can as an alternative designate the October Monday “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in honor of the Native People who have been victims of the Italian explorer’s participation “in the early stages of what became a genocide.” (Boston Herald)

An nameless donor has provided to foot the invoice for a brand new hearth division headquarters in Milton at a price of $6 to $eight million. (Patriot Ledger)

Within the longest software course of in its historical past, the Edgartown Planning Board authorised a 115-foot cell tower for AT&T on Chappaquiddick, a choice neighbors have vowed to struggle in courtroom. (Cape Cod Occasions)


President Trump stated there have been “only 6 to 18 deaths” in Puerto Rico due to final yr’s hurricane and claimed incorrectly that estimates of almost three,000 deaths have been a plot by Democrats to make him look dangerous. (New York Occasions)

The bitter partisan battle over the Supreme Courtroom nomination of Brett Kavanaugh escalated additional Thursday after US Sen. Dianne Feinstein turned a letter over to the FBI that purportedly included allegations of sexual misconduct by the 53-year-previous decide when he was in highschool. (Washington Publish)

Private and non-private debt worldwide climbed 11 % within the first quarter of 2018 to a report $247 trillion, sparking fears of one other impending main international financial meltdown. (U.S. Information & World Report)


Geoff Diehl, the Republican US Senate candidate and Trump backer, says he can be an asset to Gov. Charlie Baker in Washington if he defeats Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (State Home Information)

Joyce Ferriabough Bolling rips Congressional Black Caucus leaders Maxine Waters and John Lewis for having circled the wagons round colleague Michael Capuano and snubbing Ayanna Pressley, saying she’d like to be the “proverbial ‘fly on the wall’” when Pressley arrives on the CBC’s annual conferences this weekend in Washington. (Boston Herald)

Everyone seems to be scratching their heads concerning the excessive variety of blanked ballots in Lowell for the Third Congressional District race. (Lowell Solar) The recount within the shut main contest acquired underway yesterday, with a aim of finishing it by Monday. (Boston Globe)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo turned again a main problem by actor and liberal activist Cynthia Nixon, beating her by 30 factors. (New York Occasions)


In a serious breakthrough for the enterprise operations of the state’s marijuana business, GPA Federal Credit score Union in Gardner will turn into the primary monetary establishment in Massachusetts to supply banking providers to pot companies, one thing banks have been reluctant to do as a result of marijuana stays unlawful on the federal degree. (Boston Globe)

Renee Loth says Boston’s luxurious apartment constructing growth just isn’t fixing the area’s “housing affordability problem.” (Boston Globe)

Hanover Insurance coverage Group is promoting its worldwide insurance coverage enterprise for almost $1 billion, greater than twice what it paid seven years in the past. (Telegram & Gazette)

For the primary time in additional than 50 years, a doctor will take over as president of Deliberate Parenthood. (Chronicle of Philanthropy)


Within the face of calls from numerous schooling and civil rights teams for interim Boston faculty superintendent Laura Perille her to be barred from in search of the everlasting place, a Globe editorial says she ought to be given an opportunity to point out her talents.

TEC Connections Academy, the state’s digital faculty free to college students in all grades in Massachusetts that began 4 years in the past, has grown to greater than 1,750 college students and officers anticipate to prime 2,200 earlier than the varsity yr is out. (Herald Information)

St. Paul’s Faculty agreed handy management to the New Hampshire lawyer common of the investigation of allegations of sexual abuse of minors on the prep faculty. (Boston Globe)


The state’s Well being Connector is mountaineering premiums a mean of four.7 %, simply someday after one other state company launched a report present well being care spending elevated by simply 1.6 %. (State Home Information Service)

Boston filed go well with towards 13 drug makers, 4 distributors, and an area doctor looking for $64 million to cowl prices the town has incurred since 2014 in coping with the opioid epidemic. (Boston Globe)


Ethan Finlan of TransitMatters explains why he thinks a Blue-Pink pedestrian hyperlink is a nasty concept and why an precise Bowdoin-Charles/MGH transit hyperlink is sensible. (CommonWealth)

The lawyer common’s workplace is now claiming that an MBTA worker arrested in June for stealing cash from bus fare bins stole $450,000 and never the $80,000 initially suspected. (CommonWealth)


Householders across the nation are shopping for batteries to retailer extra solar energy quicker than corporations could make them. (U.S. Information & World Report)

Yarmouth and Winery Wind are struggling to return to an settlement on compensation for permitting an influence cable to return ashore. (Cape Cod Occasions)


The state playing fee investigation of Wynn Resorts is just not but full, regardless of earlier vows to wrap it up by the top of August. (Boston Herald)

Underage gaming emerges as an issue on the MGM on line casino in Springfield. (State Home Information) As a result of the home all the time win, the on line casino has banned its first patron for “card counting,” however gives the very civic-minded rationalization that permitting him to stay is “also taking revenue out of the state’s hands.” (Boston Globe)


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A Barnstable man was indicted on federal costs of laundering $400 million as a part of an alleged cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme. (Cape Cod Occasions)

A Globe editorial says Democratic nominee for Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins’s plan to not prosecute an inventory of 15 decrease-degree offenses is wise, not reckless, and says her reform agenda is what voters embraced final week.


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