Hilary Sargent has left Boston.com, a free website owned by Boston Globe Media Partners. Sargent was instrumental in the relaunch of the venerable site two years ago as a mobile-friendly viral alternative for younger readers who didn’t want to pay for the Globe; she was featured prominently in this New York Times story.
Sargent’s tenure was rocky at times, and in December 2014 she was suspended, as the Globe put it, “for creating a T-shirt design mocking a central figure in stories she had recently written.” But she returned as a feature writer and has done good work. See, for example, this interview with Tom Brady’s chef, or her article on why some records were sealed in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial.
Before her return to the Globe in 2014, she was best known for producing the visual journalism site ChartGirl, chosen by Time magazine as one of the 50 best websites of 2013.
Best wishes to Hilary on whatever comes next. An email she sent to numerous people somehow wafted in through my window a little while ago, and I present it in full below.
Subject: It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
I was 18 years old when I first worked at the Globe. It was at the State House bureau, and there were 5 or 6 of us packed into a tiny, messy room. My role wasn’t glamorous. I fixed printer jams, answered phones, and covered the state auditor’s race. It was the best job I ever had.
For a long time after, I went in a different direction career-wise. But the Globe remained—if not a goal—then an aspiration. In 2012, after a decade doing investigative work, I ended up starting a website that caught the attention of Teresa Hanafin and Bennie DiNardo, who generously offered me the chance to do a “community blog” on Boston.com.
I moved back to Boston and, in early 2014, started as a full-time Boston.com writer. It’s amazing how long ago that seems.
A lot has happened in the last two years. I’m proud of much of the work I did during my tenure. I wasn’t perfect, but I was given a second chance, and threw myself into trying to move and on and be a contributor in whatever ways I could—whether it be covering the Tsarnaev trial, the amazing winter of 2015, or Tom Brady’s eating habits.
The last two years have been a learning experience, and not always a pleasant one. But at the end of the day, this is where I always wanted to work.
My last day at BGMP was Thursday, February 11.
It has been suggested to me in recent days that I idolized the Globe too much. Maybe that’s true. But I hope not. I’ve worked at a lot of places, but I have never been prouder to work anywhere. The night I spent delivering papers earlier this year reinforced to me why I’ve idolized this place for so long. So did watching Spotlight, which I have now seen three times.
I will miss the surprisingly affordable cafeteria food, the mice, the lack of natural light, the crumbling parking ramp, watching Chartbeat during a snowstorm, beating the Globe every now and then, Roberto’s encyclopedic knowledge of everything, Jack’s endless good mood, Adam Vaccaro’s fashion advice … I could go on and on … Hell, I will even miss Methode. (Just kidding, I won’t miss Methode.)
Most importantly, I will miss all of you. I feel so honored to have had the opportunity—however brief—to work with all of you. I’m incredibly proud of the work we did together at Boston.com.
You were all incredibly generous with me (and with Dash) over the past two years and especially over the past several months, and I will never forget that. Thank you.
And now, onward.
P.S. Please visit the Globe library in my honor. Seriously. That place is the best.