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Spotlight Movie Screening and Panel Discussion


The Spotlight Team from The Boston Globe urged young journalists to unfold the truth from the injustice and hold responsibilities to question the authorities during a panel discussion after the movie “Spotlight” screening tonight in Boston.

The screening of the forthcoming movie “Spotlight,” which exposed the controversial Catholic priest abuse scandal that shocked the nation in 2002 draw about 300 people from Northeastern University including students and professors.

After the movie, the four members of the actual Spotlight team including the team editor Walter Robinson, along with three other reporters Michael Rezendes, Sacha Pfeiffer and Ben Bradlee Jr. went on the stage and discussed the lessons from the movie and some personal difficulties they had encountered during the reporting process.

“There are still so many stories about injustice out there,” Robinson said. “Those are the opportunities that journalists can devote their lives into and the stories will get viral and gain public attention.”

Rezendes and Pfeiffer also agreed that it is important for young journalists to step outside and dig out the truth to speak for justice. They also highlighted the importance for reporters to have the courage and responsibilities to question the authorities under the protection of the First Amendment.

The moral message from the film, as the team pointed out, was to inform the society about the dark secret in Catholic churches and to encourage people to “crack the code” on the iconic institutions, Robinson said.

Speaking of the difficulties they encountered while investigating the story, all four mentioned the pressure from their families as they had to set aside their personal lives for months.

“It’s very tough for me since my family are Catholics from South Boston,” Pfeiffer said. “But i was very motivated to seek the very bottom of the story.”

Bradlee also said that all the personal price they paid was worth in the end.

The story exposed hundreds of priests molesting children for decades and getting away with the legal lawsuits because church leaders covered them up. The piece eventually won the Pulitzer Prize.

The publication of the story brought a change to the broader Boston culture that the political power of church has lost and the reverential appreciation from the public has decreased, according to Robinson.

The team said more and more victims emerged after the story went public and many of them are still in contact with them.

“The story is a healing process for all the victims,” Pfeiffer said.

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