Boston Globe omits name of reporter who left after harassment accusation

Saturday update: The Boston Business Journal’s Catherine Carlock posted a very good overview Friday night of the Globe’s decision not to identify the reporter who had been forced to resign over sexual-harassment accusations. She also quotes some of the online commentary, including very tough tweets from my former Boston Phoenix colleague Carly Carioli and former Globe journalist Hilary Sargent. She quotes me, too.

If you watch Friday’s “Beat the Press,” you’ll see that I believed the forthcoming Globe story would identify the former employee. I was basing that not just on thinking it was the right thing to do but on some information I’d received as well. So I was pretty surprised to see that the name had been excluded.

This was a tough call. I think Brian McGrory and other Globe executives had two choices, both of them bad. Six months ago, no one would have expected the paper to name a mid-level employee, not especially well known, who had been pushed out over sexual harassment that was apparently serious but involved no touching. But it’s not six months ago. We are all living in the post-Harvey Weinstein era now.

The very same story that omits the name identifies Tom Ashbrook of WBUR Radio (90.9 FM) as having been suspended for unspecified allegations. Especially given the Globe’s strong reporting on sexual harassment and assault in restaurants and at the Statehouse, it seems to me that the paper needs to be as transparent as possible about what’s going on in its own house. And if you want to argue that that’s somehow unfair to the former employee in question, I would respond: Yes, in some ways it is unfair. But it’s necessary.

Original Friday item: I just took a quick scan through Boston Globe reporter Mark Arsenault’s story on sexual harassment at the Globe and at other local media organizations, including unspecified charges involving Tom Ashbrook at WBUR Radio (90.9 FM). For the most part it appears to be a fine, thorough piece. But what stands out and will spark hundreds of conversations is the Globe’s decision not to identify a journalist who has been the subject of rumors this week, including on today’s “Kirk and Callahan” show on WEEI Radio (93.7 FM). Arsenault writes:

The Globe chose not to identify the employee in this story because his alleged conduct did not involve physical contact, threats, or persistent harassment, and editors determined it is highly unlikely the newspaper would have identified the accused, or written about his conduct, if this situation had arisen at another private company.

““Yes, we’re well aware that by withholding the identity of the reporter involved, we’ll be accused of a double-standard by people and organizations that are not privy to all the facts,” editor Brian McGrory said in a message to the newsroom from which Arsenault quotes. “I can live with that far more easily than I can live with the thought of sacrificing our values to slake the thirst of this moment.”

Although I can understand McGrory’s judgment given Arsenault’s description of the misconduct (especially the lack of physical contact), I wonder if it is tenable in the current environment. I suspect the name is going to come out anyway given how many people know it. Then again, if Globe executives are convinced that not naming him is the right thing to do, I suppose they’re prepared to live with someone else reporting it. But it leaves me feeling uncomfortable.

A source sent me the full text of McGrory’s memo a little while ago. Here it is.

About three weeks ago, I commissioned a story taking a look at how this and other local media organizations are covering the extraordinary #MeToo movement — at the same time that we’re assessing our own situations and confronting issues from within. It took a while, because all of these stories take a while. Sourcing is painstaking. Accusations are raw. Context is important and can take more time than we’d like.

We’ve done some extraordinary journalism on many fronts of this movement — Yvonne [Abraham], Kay [Lazar], Shirley [Leung], Shelley [Murphy], Devra [First], led by Jen [Peter, senior deputy managing editor]. The list could go on, and there’s more to come. Our standards have been high and meticulously upheld, in terms of what we’ll report and how. Vetting of the stories has been rigorous to the point of painstaking.

Now our story on local media, written by Mark Arsenault, is ready this afternoon, as there’s speculation on talk radio and in the social sphere about a recent situation involving the Globe. Mark addresses this situation in the story, having learned about it because he’s an excellent reporter. But even as Mark is aware of the identity of a journalist who has left the Globe, we’ve made the decision not to publish the name, and here I’ll attempt to explain why.

Quite simply, the transgressions would not meet our standards for a reportable event if they happened at another company. To all our knowledge, nobody was physically touched; no one was persistently harassed; there were no overt threats. We’re covering it because we’re applying an extra measure of transparency to ourselves.

This is not in any way to make light of what happened here. There was conduct highly unbecoming of a Globe journalist, people who justifiably felt victimized, and the potential for conflicts of interest. So the responsible party is no longer at the Globe.

Context, again, is vital in this moment, and it is ever more paramount for the Globe and other reputable news organizations to exercise good judgment in unwavering fashion. There are degrees of misconduct, a spectrum, and we must be careful to recognize it. We’ve been meticulous in bringing this kind of context to all of our reporting on these issues, the things we write and, as often, the things we don’t. This is not the time to lower our standard.

So to answer your inevitable question, yes, we’re well aware that by withholding the identity of the reporter involved, we’ll be accused of a double-standard by people and organizations that are not privy to all the facts. I can live with that far more easily than I can live with the thought of sacrificing our values to slake the thirst of this moment. I’m also well aware that wise people, including people in this room, will disagree. I respect that.

Beyond this, please know that our coverage will continue with all the rigor that we’ve already brought on all fronts. Also know that, even as we believe the culture of this room is in a good place, it can get better and we’re working to improve it.

As always, feel free to drop by or share in any other way your thoughts.

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The Globe needs to hold itself to the same #MeToo standard as everyone else

Update: I am hearing the Globe was already working on a story about the situation before Kirk and Callahan went public. Good. Original item below.

Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan just wrapped up their Friday show on WEEI Radio (93.7 FM) after having spent most of the last hour talking about rumors that a Boston Globe journalist has left the paper following unspecified sexual-harassment charges. These rumors have been rampant within media and political circles the past few days, but they are unconfirmed. Kirk and Callahan ended the hour without directly identifying the journalist as a harasser, though they managed to get it out there indirectly.

What I don’t understand is why any news organization would risk letting someone else expose its own internal problems. The Globe has done great reporting on sexual harassment in the post-Harvey Weinstein world, from the plight of restaurant workers to the husband of Massachusetts Senate president Stan Rosenberg, now on leave while officials conduct an investigation. The Globe needs to hold itself to the same standard.

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The Worcester Sun gets ready to take its next step: A weekend print edition

Fred Hurlbrink Jr., left, and Mark Henderson. Photo (cc) 2015 by Dan Kennedy.

New England’s second-largest city is about to get a new print newspaper. A little more than two years ago, the Worcester Sun debuted as a for-profit, online-only news organization. Founded by two GateHouse Media refugees, the site has been behind a hard paywall from the beginning, with subscribers paying $2 a week.

Now Mark Henderson and his business partner (and cousin), Fred Hurlbrink Jr., are ready to take the next step: repurposing their journalism in a Saturday print edition that will be mailed free to paid digital subscribers who live in the Worcester area. If you’re not a subscriber, you’ll be able to buy a copy for $2 at various locations in Central Massachusetts.

Print has been part of Henderson and Hurlbrink’s thinking right from the start. Just after the Sun went live, I wrote about the project for the Nieman Journalism Lab. Though the Sun is clearly a digital-first operation, its founders wanted to capture the value that still exists in print advertising as a way of developing a second revenue stream.

“If you’re going to start something new, monetizing digital is tough,” Henderson told me at the time. “And you can’t look at print as a medium without understanding that there is a ton of money still to be made there.”

(Disclosure: Some months after I interviewed Henderson and Hurlbrink, they asked me to serve on an unpaid board of advisers. The Lab’s Laura Hazard Owen wrote a follow-up on the Sun’s progress several months ago.)

Worcester’s daily paper, the Telegram & Gazette, has shrunk dramatically in recent years. Sold by Boston Globe owner John Henry to a Florida-based chain under disputed circumstances, it later ended up in the hands of GateHouse, of Pittsford, New York, which owns more than 100 daily and weekly papers in Eastern Massachusetts. Henderson is the T&G’s former online director; Hurlbrink worked as a copy editor and in production for GateHouse’s MetroWest Daily News of Framingham and for a design facility in Framingham that later closed, with the jobs being outsourced to Austin, Texas.

Henderson and Hurlbrink have a tough road ahead of them. But they’re still here after two years, and they have the advantage of being local owners who are part of their community. The best-case scenario is that the Sun will be a success and that GateHouse will respond by bolstering the ranks of the T&G. Best of luck to Mark and Fred.

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Globe’s D.C. bureau expands to six with the hiring of Yahoo’s Liz Goodwin

Liz Goodwin. Photo via Twitter.

In an unusual move by any daily newspaper in 2017, The Boston Globe is expanding its Washington bureau. The paper’s bureau chief and deputy chief, Chris Rowland and Matt Viser, sent out an announcement to the staff earlier today reporting that the addition will be Liz Goodwin of Yahoo News. Here is the email in full:

Friends,

Liz Goodwin of Yahoo News jumped to the head of the pack of candidates for a rare opening in our Washington Bureau and stayed there despite a fierce list of competitors and a rigorous search. Her natural writing talent, ambition to tell big stories, and combination of inside and outside Washington experience made her a perfect fit for our team. She’s deeply dedicated and prolific, and, in the universal judgment of those who have worked with her, a total gem of a colleague. We are pleased to welcome Liz to the bureau in the role of general assignment political reporter.

Liz has been a reporter at Yahoo for seven years, covering two presidential elections and criss-crossing the country to produce features on the criminal justice system and immigration. She delves into her subjects with compassion, wit, and a keen eye for detail. She moved to DC from New York in February to cover Congress. She learned to navigate the halls of the Capitol while bringing her narrative flair to GOP attempts to repeal Obamacare and other dramas of the Trump era.

Before joining Yahoo, she worked as business reporter for the Tico Times in Costa Rica, and then as an assistant editor at the Daily Beast.

Liz grew up in Galveston, Texas, the youngest of four kids, and played soccer and volleyball at Ball High School. She went to Harvard for college where she studied History and Literature and covered student government for the Crimson.

News and storytelling are embedded in her DNA. Her grandparents were both journalists in Oklahoma who also raised cattle. Liz’s grandfather Paul McClung was a reporter and editor at the Lawton Constitution for years (and was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame) and her grandmother Geraldine wrote true crime stories from Texas and Oklahoma under the intentionally androgynous name Gerry McClung. Growing up, Liz (under the watchful eye of an anti-social pack of blue heeler cattle dogs) sometimes tagged along with her gramps as he tended to 150 head of Herefords on the family spread.

Liz’s arrival boosts the bureau’s roster to six people. She will help us deliver more of the original, penetrating, and richly reported news from Washington that demanding subscribers (and future subscribers) are gobbling up on BostonGlobe.com and A1 of the Boston Globe. Please welcome Liz to the Globe and wish her congratulations. She starts Jan. 8.

Chris and Matt

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The New York Times and that nice young Nazi next door

The New York Times’ profile of an Ohio Nazi is generating an enormous amount of outrage on Twitter among critics who think the paper is normalizing a dangerous hate-monger. I largely agree, though I would disagree with anyone who thinks it never should have seen the light of day in any form.

The problem is in the execution — in the course of showing how well Tony Hovater blends in (a useful insight), reporter Richard Fausset makes it appear that he believes Hovater is normal in some way. For instance, here is a paragraph that teeters on the brink:

In Ohio, amid the row crops and rolling hills, the Olive Gardens and Steak ’n Shakes, Mr. Hovater’s presence can make hardly a ripple. He is the Nazi sympathizer next door, polite and low-key at a time the old boundaries of accepted political activity can seem alarmingly in flux. Most Americans would be disgusted and baffled by his casually approving remarks about Hitler, disdain for democracy and belief that the races are better off separate. But his tattoos are innocuous pop-culture references: a slice of cherry pie adorns one arm, a homage to the TV show “Twin Peaks.” He says he prefers to spread the gospel of white nationalism with satire. He is a big “Seinfeld” fan.

As Susieus Maximus put it on Twitter: “It’s like the writer either never heard the phrase, ‘the banality of evil,’ or else thought that all they had to show was the banality.”

The Times is performing badly in so many ways lately. It’s a shame that it can’t produce a straightforward profile of a Nazi without doing better than this.

Some updates. The antidote to the Times story is The Boston Globe’s series on York, Pennsylvania, by Matt Viser. Rather than simply mailing in postcards from Trump country, Viser has been balancing the views of Trump supporters with those who are horrified by what is going on. The latest installment was published today.

The Times has published a commentary by Fausset in which he admits that he didn’t come back with quite what he wanted. And the Times itself has posted a reaction to the feedback it’s received. “Our reporter and his editors agonized over the tone and content of the article,” writes national editor Marc Lacey. “The point of the story was not to normalize anything but to describe the degree to which hate and extremism have become far more normal in American life than many of us want to think.”

Finally, Mangy Jay has posted a very smart thread on Twitter outlining how the Times could have — should have — approached a story that clearly went off the rails.

The last word. Erik Wemple of The Washington Post nails it: “The best way to avoid normalizing white nationalists is to report about their deeds, their friends, their families and their beliefs, and to not give up after an unsatisfactory phone call.”

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How Boston media were shaped by the FCC and dirty politics

Tip O’Neill (center) and the Kennedy family were on opposite sides in the battle that gave rise to modern Boston media. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Previously published at WGBHNews.org.

The Federal Communications Commission overturned a decades-old rule last week that prohibited common ownership of a television or radio station and a daily newspaper in the same city. At a time when newspapers are hemorrhaging money and the broadcast news business is shrinking, the FCC argued, the so-called cross-ownership ban had become obsolete, and was standing in the way of possible joint enterprises that could reinvigorate news coverage.

The more likely outcome of such hybrids would be combined newsrooms, layoffs, and a dumbed-down product. Here in Boston, it would mean something else as well: the end of a regulatory regime that was instrumental in shaping our media environment. It was an epic battle over cross-ownership that led to the rise of The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald’s slide into perpetual also-ran status, and the emergence of WCVB-TV (Channel 5) as one of the best local television stations in the country. The story is told in three books: “Common Ground,” J. Anthony Lukas’ monumental history of Boston during the busing era; “Tip O’Neill and the Democratic Century,” by John A. Farrell; and “Newspaper Story: One Hundred Years of the Boston Globe,” by Louis M. Lyons.

The origins of this tale goes back to January 1956, at a lunch at the Somerset Club on Beacon Hill attended by, among others, Herald publisher Robert “Beanie” Choate and Globe publisher Davis Taylor. The once-dominant Boston Post was about to fold, and Choate proposed that the Herald and the Globe — the largest and most influential of the city’s remaining papers — combine their forces and thus avoid an expensive newspaper war. When Taylor refused, Choate reportedly told him: “You fellows are stubborn. Worse than that, you’re arrogant. You better listen to us or we’ll teach you a lesson. I’m going to get Channel 5, and with my television revenues I’ll put you out of business.”

Two commercial TV channels were already on the air in Boston. Under FCC guidelines, the third license — that is, Channel 5 — should not have been awarded to the Herald, which already owned two radio stations. Yet it was, after a furious round of lobbying by Choate. When Davis Taylor and his cousin John Taylor made the rounds in Washington to find out what had gone wrong, they were told by House Minority Leader Joe Martin, a North Attleborough Republican, “I’m afraid you fellas have just been outpoliticked.”

Indeed they had been. It seemed that Joe Kennedy was determined to win his son Jack a Pulitzer Prize for his book “Profiles in Courage.” The judges in the biography category were so unimpressed with “Profiles” that it did not even appear among the eight books they nominated, so Kennedy and his friend Arthur Krock — a veteran New York Times columnist who had stepped down as chairman of the Pulitzer board several years earlier — worked to persuade board members to overrule the judges and award the prize to Jack Kennedy. Joe Kennedy and Krock succeeded.

Among the Pulitzer board members who concluded that “Profiles in Courage” deserved a Pulitzer was none other than Beanie Choate. No surprise there. Joe Kennedy had dispatched one of his coat-holders, Francis Xavier Morrissey, a municipal-court judge, to assure Choate that he would get the license to Channel 5 if he voted to give JFK a Pulitzer. And Joe Kennedy was as good as his word. By a four-to-two vote, the FCC granted the license to Choate; siding with the majority were two commissioners with close ties to Kennedy.

Choate’s victory represented an existential threat to the Globe. Its young Washington bureau chief, future executive editor Robert Healy, was assigned the task of trying to unearth information that could reverse the FCC’s decision. Healy cultivated an unlikely source: Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, then a rising Cambridge congressman, who was interested in higher office but was afraid he would be blocked by the Republican-leaning Herald if the Globe went out of business. With O’Neill’s help, Healy got access to the inner workings of a congressional investigation into federal regulatory agencies. Healy was able to report the existence of telephone records that showed FCC chairman George McConnaughey had improper contacts with Choate. That, along with several other stories, led the FCC in 1972 to strip the Herald of its television license.

Without a television station to prop it up, the Herald Traveler, as it was then known, could not survive. It was sold to Hearst’s Record American, which published the paper as the Herald American until 1981, when a rising press baron named Rupert Murdoch rescued it. Channel 5, meanwhile, was acquired by a civic-minded community group called Boston Broadcasters, who adopted the call letters WCVB, pumped up its news operation, and innovated with local programming such as “Chronicle,” a magazine-style show that survives to this day. WCVB was sold in 1982, leaving its founders very wealthy but the station itself less ambitious and more focused on the bottom line. Even now, though, the Boston television market is widely considered to be smarter than is the case in most areas of the country, a situation that can be attributed in part to the legacy of Channel 5.

Perhaps one of the more surprising elements of the Globe-Herald struggle was that O’Neill and the Kennedy family found themselves on opposite sides, and that the Kennedys’ interests were aligned with the Herald rather than the Globe. Eventually, O’Neill and the Kennedys formed a tight bond, and the Globe was often regarded as close — inappropriately in some cases — with both the future House speaker and the members of the Kennedy dynasty.

The Globe’s relationship with the Kennedys played itself out in a faint echo of the Channel 5 story in 1988, when Rupert Murdoch purchased Channel 25. Sen. Ted Kennedy quietly slipped a provision into a bill that made it almost impossible for the FCC to grant a waiver allowing Murdoch to own both a TV station and a newspaper in Boston. Murdoch chose to sell off Channel 25, thus saving the Herald. Several years later Murdoch repurchased Channel 25 and sold the Herald to his longtime protégé Pat Purcell, who continues as the Herald’s publisher to this day. Thus did the cross-ownership ban not only pave the way for the Globe’s rise to dominance but it ended Rupert Murdoch’s years in the city’s newspaper market as well.

Now the cross-ownership ban is gone. How will that change the Boston media scene? The current Globe owner, John Henry, has long been interested in television. Both the Globe and the Herald operate internet radio stations that feature music and talk, respectively. Might they seek to purchase terrestrial radio stations? Or could the owner of one of the city’s TV stations buy one or both newspapers?

There’s no question that the rise of digital technology has hollowed out traditional media, rendering the cross-ownership ban archaic in some respects. On balance, though, the ban has been good for Boston news consumers. What comes next is likely to have a lot more to do with profits than with the public interest.

Barbara Howard of WGBH Radio’s “All Things Considered” and I talked about the FCC’s regulatory changes last week. Click here if you’d like to give it a listen.

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Boston Globe Media president Vinay Mehra weighs in on sexual harassment

At a moment when large swaths of the entertainment business and news media are melting down as long-suppressed tales of sexual harassment are coming out into the open, Boston Globe Media president and chief financial officer Vinay Mehra has sent a memo to the staff on how the Globe would handle such issues. Among other things, Mehra said that employees will undergo mandatory training, and that anyone who has been subjected to harassment “should not hesitate to speak confidentially and without fear of retaliation with whomever you feel comfortable.”

The Globe recently published a couple of important articles on sexual harassment at the Statehouse (by columnist Yvonne Abraham) and in the restaurant business (by food critic Devra First). No institution is immune, of course, and it would be interesting to see how the Globe — or any news organization — would report on itself if such accusations were leveled. NPR has certainly had to dive deeply into this with the exposure and subsequent firing of top news executive Michael Oreskes. NPR chief executive Jarl Mohn, who has come under criticism for his handling of the Oreskes matter, said Tuesday that he will take a health-related leave of absence.

A source sent a copy of Mehra’s memo to me a short time ago. Here is the full text.

Dear Staff,

I’m reaching out to address the many conversations that are happening in and outside of Boston Globe Media about sexual harassment and overall conduct in the workplace, particularly in the media industry.

We are a company that deeply values equality, diversity, and individuality. We know that we thrive individually and collectively when everyone feels safe and respected. We do not tolerate harassment of any kind, and we have a set of policies and processes for reporting and responding to misconduct, which I’d like to lay out here.

We will look into all allegations of harassment and related conduct, and will act on them accordingly. Please find attached, the company’s sexual harassment policy that has been in effect since ownership under the New York Times. We have made updates to make our policy more comprehensive and have identified specific individuals within HR to address issues.

You should not hesitate to speak confidentially and without fear of retaliation with whomever you feel comfortable — your manager, HR, Legal, or with any team leader or executive in this company.  If you experience misconduct of any kind, we want to give you every opportunity to be heard through a vehicle of your choice so that we can attempt to address your concerns promptly and confidentially.

We also hope you’ll take seriously the workplace conduct trainings we will be conducting online and in person over the next few months. Employees will receive an invitation from HR within the next month to a mandatory online training.

We are a stronger and more inclusive company when these issues are raised and acted on. Thank you as always for your hard work and your commitment to our organization.

Vinay

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McGrory hails Globe’s EPPY Award, praises staff and says print woes are easing

Here is the latest newsroom memo from Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory, sent out a little after 6 p.m. on Friday. A kind soul passed it on to me a short time later. First, a few observations of my own:

  • Six years after its debut, the Globe’s website still stacks up very well against those of most newspapers, so the EPPY Award is deserved. I could quibble, but it’s cleaner and faster than almost any other newspaper site. But the lack of a decent mobile experience remains a huge problem. Yes, the website is responsive and looks good on a phone. But it only works when you have a strong internet connection, which often isn’t available, especially on public transportation. I was told in late 2016 that the Globe was working on developing or licensing a new mobile app. It’s long overdue. For many of us, great mobile would be more useful than the Globe’s solving its print problems. Speaking of which:
  • As McGrory says, indications are that the horrendous printing and delivery problems associated with the new Taunton plant are easing. But based on anecdotal evidence, the Globe still has a way to go. If you’re still not getting your paper, or you’re not getting part of the paper, or it’s too late for you to be able to read it, or the print quality is terrible, then that’s a 100 percent failure, at least for you.
  • I couldn’t agree more on McGrory’s fifth point. The journalism remains excellent and vital. I would particularly point to Yvonne Abraham’s column on sexual harassment at the Statehouse, which, as McGrory notes, led to instant action.

The full text of McGrory’s memo follows.

Some quick and random thoughts to end the week:

1/ The Globe won Editor and Publisher’s EPPY Award for best daily newspaper website. This is a big damned deal, a tribute to everyone in this room and your tireless commitment to the distinctive journalism that fills the site hour after hour, day after day. Please take huge pride in this.

2/ Not for nothing, we added about 650 digital subscribers last week. We’ve roared past the 90,000 mark and are on our way to 100,000. This is yet more validation for your efforts.

3/ Our sports podcast, Season Ticket, continues to outperform all expectations — and is a flat out great listen. [Chris] Gasper’s fantastic, and our in-house guests — Nora [Princiotti], Pete [Abraham], Joe Sullivan, Alex [Speier], Fluto [Shinzawa], Ben [Volin] this week alone — are at once deeply knowledgeable and downright charming.

4/ The company is getting a higher quality paper on subscriber’s doorsteps with far greater consistency, such that we’ve been able to relax print deadlines in the room. It’s taken a lot of work on the second floor and in Taunton, and it’s really starting to show.

5/ The journalism continues to excel, and of that, you should be most proud. Yvonne today got a reaction from the House speaker within a couple of hours of posting her sharp and important column. There was Andrea [Estes] with another heart-breaking exclusive on the New Hampshire VA, Mark [Arsenault] on Vicki Kennedy, much of Sports with extraordinary deadline coverage of Gordon Hayward’s gruesome injury, our Amazon coverage (including the creative wrap), Shirley [Leung] excoriating Boston to appreciate itself, the DC bureau’s relentlessly fascinating coverage of all things Trump and Warren, and the Express Desk owning the moment, moment after moment. There’s much more that we’ve recently had, and there’s far more in the works. Thank you for it all, and as ever, please don’t let up.

Brian

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The Globe hires a Gannett executive to run its printing operations

The Boston Globe has hired a new top executive to oversee print operations, according to a memo to staff members from Vinay Mehra, the Globe’s new president and chief financial officer. Dale Carpenter, who’ll be a senior vice president, previously held a top print position with Gannett. He sounds like the sort of person who should have been hired before the Globe opened its troubled Taunton printing facility. Maybe he’ll be the guy who straightens it out.

The full text of Mehra’s memo follows.

Dear Colleagues,

I am happy to announce the following additions to our Executive Team.

Dale Carpenter joins us as Senior Vice President of Print Operations where he will oversee the production, distribution, and customer service functions. Dale was most recently Vice President of Operations at Gannett Publishing where he had oversight of more than 70 print locations across the country and had responsibility for national printing and packaging. Dale is a nationally known print and production expert and we are delighted to have him join our team. He will start on October 23.

Dan Krockmalnic will join us at the end of this month as our new General Counsel as Maura McAuliffe has chosen to step into a part-time role. Dan was most recently Assistant Attorney General at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office where he focused on consumer protection cases. He began his career at the law firm of Ropes & Gray.

Please join me in welcoming them to Boston Globe Media.

Vinay

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At the Globe, an innovative approach to funding public-interest journalism

In case you didn’t look closely at the provenance of today’s big Spotlight Team investigation in The Boston Globe, it was the result of an initiative that grew out of the movie “Spotlight.” You’ll find the full explanation here, but essentially three of the groups that funded the film created the Spotlight Investigative Journalism Fellowship to tell important stories that might otherwise go unreported.

The two-parter that debuted today is the first result of that effort. Reporters Kelly Carr and Jaimi Dowdell report on “lax oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration [that], over decades, has made it easy for drug dealers, corrupt politicians, and even people with links to terrorism to register private planes and conceal their identities.”

The story begins with a harrowing anecdote and features great photography, an excellent video, and a first-rate digital treatment. It’s an innovative approach to paying for public-interest journalism, and it will be interesting to see what else it yields.

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