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

Tag: Alan Lupo

In Alan Lupo, Alexander Cockburn met his match

If you read the New York Times obituary of the radical journalist Alexander Cockburn, then you may have found yourself surprised by this tidbit about his departure from the Village Voice:

Mr. Cockburn, a fierce critic in the columns of Israeli policies in the Middle East, was dismissed from The Voice in 1984 after The Boston Phoenix reported that he had accepted a $10,000 grant from a group that its critics called pro-Arab. David Schneiderman, The Voice’s editor at the time, suggested that the grant created a conflict of interest.

The Phoenix has now reposted that article, which was reported and written by the late, great Alan Lupo. An essential bit of Boston journalism history, and well worth your time.

Alan Lupo, 70

Alan Lupo, a legendary local journalist who worked for the Boston Globe, the Boston Phoenix and the Boston Herald, has died. Bryan Marquard’s obit has been posted on the Globe’s Web site.

Lupo and his wife, Boston University journalism professor Caryl Rivers, have been fixtures on the Boston scene for many years. I didn’t know either of them well, but in my limited dealings with them they struck me as unusually good and decent people. I’ve never heard anyone say otherwise.

The last time I spoke with Lupo was a couple of years ago. He’d retired from the Globe and was writing an occasional column for the Salem News. I mentioned it to him, and he was delighted, telling me how much fun he was having practicing journalism at the community level.

I believe that this is the online interview Marquard refers to in which Lupo and Rivers talk about meeting while making a documentary about rats. The interview, by Henry Dane, was to publicize an appearance they made in 2005 at the Winthrop Public Library. One of Lupo’s quotes could serve as his epitaph:

We’ve always been interested in helping people redress their grievances. Being in journalism, you’ve got access to power. It may be the board of selectmen, it may be the governor, it may be somebody in the private sector. And if people are upset or angry for good reason … because their airport’s expanding or they’re putting highways through your backyard or there’s oil tanks and you don’t want ’em in your neighborhood … you’ve got a responsibility to cover those stories.

Lupo’s death is a loss for Boston and for journalism.

More:There’s a lot to be said about Alan Lupo. All of it good. Much of it colorful as hell,” writes Clif Garboden at And what Garboden’s got to say is worth reading.

Photo of Alan Lupo and Caryl Rivers is online at the Web site of the Friends of the Winthrop Public Library and Museum.

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