By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The Globe, the Phoenix and the pedophile-priest story

Jim Romenesko has posted a letter from my friend Susan Ryan-Vollmar on the Boston Phoenix’s groundbreaking work in exposing the pedophile-priest story, and on the Boston Globe’s ongoing silence about the Phoenix’s coverage, which predated the Globe’s by nearly a year.

I think Susan, a former Phoenix news editor, gets it fundamentally right. The Globe got the documents that led to Cardinal Bernard Law’s departure. The Globe richly deserved the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service that it won in 2003. But I agree with Susan that Kristen Lombardi’s reporting for the Phoenix warrants more public recogntion than it has received.

Susan, Kristen (currently a Nieman Fellow) and I all worked at the Phoenix together and remain friends. I consider Kristen to be the finest reporter I ever worked with. Susan is a first-rate editor who did much to shape and focus Kristen’s stories. Walter Robinson, who was the Globe Spotlight team editor that covered the priest scandal, is now a valued colleague at Northeastern.

But Susan has laid down the gauntlet, and Romenesko has asked Globe editor Marty Baron to respond. This bears watching.

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  1. wilson tisdale

    Interesting… Somebody once told me that the old Record-American actually started the expose of corruption in Somerville for which the Globe later won a Pulitzer but backed off under pressure. A Record editor supposedly fed the Globe information and colleagues joked that he won a Pulitzer — for the Globe.

  2. peter sullivan


    I think that every journophile west of Morrisey Blvd. has long been crediting the Boston Phoenix for breaking that story.

    Why not walk down the hall and ask Walter Robinson, your valued colleague his take on this issue???

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