Globe reporters tell their ‘Spotlight’ stories

Boston Globe

NOVEMBER 29, 2014

For months in late 2001, the Globe’s Spotlight Team chipped away in secret at a story that at first seemed unimaginable — that a succession of cardinals and bishops in the Boston Catholic Archdiocese had for decades covered up the sexual abuse of countless children by priests. In many cases, Church leaders took no action to deny their Roman-collared child molesters access to children.

When the Globe began documenting the extensive abuse and the cover-up in January 2002, the story exploded, first in Boston, then nationally and in countries around the world. In the Boston Archdiocese alone, an estimated 200 priests abused children. Nationally, it is at least 7,000 priests. The escalating disclosures continue, and have shaken the very foundation of the Church.

In September, director Tom McCarthy (“The Station Agent,” “Win Win”) and a cast of Hollywood names including Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Stanley Tucci began shooting a movie titled “Spotlight,’’ about the Globe’s investigation. The filmmakers used locations in Boston and in Toronto, where they re-created the Globe newsroom and the Spotlight Team’s offices. With camerawork expected to wrap in the Bay State on Sunday, the film is scheduled for release late next year.

For three members of that Spotlight Team — reporters Sacha Pfeiffer and Michael Rezendes and editor Walter V. Robinson — the movie is a constant reminder of the courage of the many victims of sexual abuse whose willingness to tell their stories in 2001 made the Globe’s investigative stories possible.

And the film is also something else for those three journalists: It’s surreal. The “Spotlight” stars have all but assumed the identities of the characters they play, in ways the real reporters have found both humorous and, at times, a little unsettling.

They share their experiences in Boston and Toronto.

Read Walter V. Robinson’s essay
Read to Michael Rezendes’s essay
Read to Sacha Pfeiffer’s essay

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