Marty Baron: The newspaper editor who is widely regarded as one of the best news editors of his generation

Martin “Marty” Baron is widely regarded as one of the best news editors of his generation. In January 2013, Baron took over as executive editor of The Washington Post. In 2014, the Post won two Pulitzer Prizes, one in the category of public service for revelations of secret surveillance by the National Security Agency and the other for explanatory journalism about food stamps in America. In 2015, The Post won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for its coverage of security lapses in the Secret Service. In 2016, The Post won the Pulitzer Prize in the category of national reporting for a ground-breaking project that chronicled every killing by a police officer in 2015. 

Marty Baron is best known for his role as the editor of the Boston Globe. Shortly after joining the Globe in 2001, Baron shifted the paper’s coverage from international events towards locally centered investigative journalism. The Globes coverage of the Boston Catholic sexual abuse scandal earned it a Pulitzer Prize. The story was later featured in the 2015 Hollywood movie Spotlight, which won the Academy Awards for  the Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay of the year.

Baron was the first Jewish editor at a publication whose readers were 53 percent Catholic, while Baron’s reporters on the Globe’s investigative team all were raised Catholic. Shortly after his arrival the Globe uncovered a pattern of moving pedophile priests rather than stopping them, the scandal has spread to more than 100 cities across the nation and at least 100 more around the world. As it unfolded, it became clear that there was truth to many of the allegations and that there was a pattern of sexual abuse and cover-up in a number of large dioceses across the U.S. What had originally appeared to be few isolated cases of abuse exploded into a nationwide scandal. In the Boston archdiocese alone, more than 250 priests and brothers have been publicly accused of abusing minors. The Globe wrote 600 stories on priest sexual abuse in 2002 and won a Pulitzer Prize for revealing the cover up.   Settlements in the Boston, Massachusetts suits were estimated to be up to $100 million. In some cases insurance companies have balked at meeting the cost of large settlements, claiming the actions were deliberate and not covered by insurance. This was additional financial damage to the Archdiocese, which already faced the need to consolidate and close parishes due to changing attendance and giving patterns. In June 2004, much of the land around the Archdiocese of Boston headquarters was sold to Boston College, in part to raise money for legal costs associated with scandal in Boston.