Those of us who report and publish the news always notice that we rank somewhere south of head lice in public opinion polls. So only a journalist who’s delusional would spend Feb. 14 waiting for the inbox to fill with hearts, candy and flowers.
But this year, we’ve got “Spotlight,” a giant, ongoing Valentine’s Day gift to the power, efficacy and necessity in our society of investigative journalism. This is extra sweet at a time when that kind of expensive, hard reporting is seriously threatened by failing business models, failure of imagination and the media world’s obsession with substance-free, adrenalized news bursts.
The film is now well known as the story of The Boston Globe team that uncovered the scope and virulence of the Catholic Church’s pedophile priest problem and the accompanying massive cover-up.
What’s less known – despite the previously inconceivable fact that members of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors sat down in Rome just last week and watched “Spotlight” before engaging in a panel on clerical sex abuse – is that this is a Valentine’s gift that keeps on giving.
The film came out in November. But since then, the church has released names of accused priests in Yakima, Washington, and files on delinquent clergy in Minneapolis. Well over a dozen dioceses and archdioceses from Chicago to Seattle; Albany, New York, to St. Petersburg, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, have issued statements citing “Spotlight” in recommitting themselves to vigilantly weeding out the... Read More >