Martin Baron has entered the room
...but the talk will start in a few moments as technical issues are resolved
Prof. Susan Harada: "This is not how things are supposed to start"
Prof Harada: "This is the true story that underlines what journalism at its best can do"
Prof Allan Thompson introduces Martin Baron.
Thompson: Spotlight is the "All The President's Men" of this generation.
Thompson wonders if the investigative journalism displayed in the movie is of "another era," and if this work can continue in the digital age.
Thompson: where Marty Baron goes, Pulitzer prizes follow.
Baron jokes that he is thinking of taking a cue from Schreiber's character Ray Donovan by carrying a baseball bat around.
Baron says that he did not have much of a sense of humour back during his Globe days. Labelled as an "outsider."
Launching the investigation, the 9/11 attacks, and the anthrax attacks made things tough during the beginning of his tenure.
Baron: I didn't decide to go after the Church, I decided to pursue a story
Baron says that he was struck by how no one expected to know the truth behind the Geoghan case.
During his first meeting, he brought up Geoghan, a priest accused of molestation, because no one else would.
Baron calls the Church "the most powerful institution in Boston."
Even though most Bostonians are Catholic, Baron says he went forward with the story because it is what journalists are supposed to do.
"How could you not pursue that story?" Baron asks
Says first meeting with Cardinal Law was "awkward"not only because he got lost (due to a poor Map Quest route), but because the investigation was the elephant in the room.
Baron says it is true that he was given the Catechism after his meeting with Law.
Baron says he was curious about the public's reaction to the first story.
Baron: "the people who felt the greatest sense of betrayal were the devout parishioners."
"...they were not angry at us...they were not angry at their faith." Baron says Catholics were angry at the people responsible.
Baron says the media kept pressure on the Church itself. The Pope had to answer questions about this even in his visit to the US last year.
"It was only this past Summer that the Vatican announced they would name a tribunal" to deal with this issue and hold them accountable. "We're talking about fourteen years later."
Baron says Cardinal Law was not held accountable by the justice system, only the public.
Baron: "Law's reputation has been tarnished forever."
Baron: Walter Robinson says the response to the movie in Rome has been the warmest of all markets he has visited.
Baron speculates that this is because the press in Rome feels the power of the Church more than anywhere else in the world. He adds that people would feel liberated.
Bresnahan asks if investigative journalism is ancient history, and Baron says there is certainly less of it than there needs to be.
"I think that we have to do it, our readers expect it of us. If we're not holding powerful people/institutions accountable" then we're not doing our job.
"It's really a matter or will, not a matter of resources." - Baron
Baron says a lot of resources are spent on entertainment reporting, and wonders if the resources are properly allocated.
"I recognize there is a market for (entertainment reporting)."
Baron says that investigative work is who we are as journalists.
He adds that people are disenchanted with journalists when they don't do investigative work.
He says the new building reflects how they need to look forward and not be too nostalgic.
"I think we need to be frank about where things are going" - on getting the old guard to embrace digital. "It doesn't mean we have to give up investigative reporting"
Baron says that the Post's owner, Amazon, wants the paper to remain independent when covering them.
He says their biggest competitor is Facebook and Google because of their personalized ads.
Baron calls Facebook and Google "frenemies" of theirs
He jokes that their business model of cutting down trees and throwing their product at people's doors is not one that anyone would pick objectively.
Can one thing save newspapers? Baron says no, we have to try a lot of different things in order to find one that works.
"We put a man on the moon before we put wheels on luggage"
Baron says there is no "moonshot" for saving journalism.
The floor is now opened up for questions from the audience.
Baron agrees with the common opinion on internet comment sections: "I think it's a sewer."
Baron says they are working with Mozilla to improve the way comments are made on articles. "But we're not there yet."
"It's really important that we develop the subscription model," Baron says. He adds that their model might be similar to what it used to be with print, that a portion of their budget will be provided by advertisers.
"There are an incredible amount of opportunities opening up for journalists...some of them are reshaping what journalism is all about."
As long as they are doing responsible, honourable journalism, Baron says "the more the merrier."
His advice: learn the business side, and be an optimist because "there is no acceptable alternative."
Prof. Harada gives closing remarks, saying that Baron represents the "purest form of journalism."