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Email from Martin Baron to the staff of the Boston Globe

Boston Globe editor Martin Baron emailed this message to The Boston Globe’s staff after the announcement that he would become the executive editor of The Washington Post:

To all:

Six weeks after I joined you here in the storied newsroom of The Boston Globe, we witnessed the horror of 9/11. And amid that national trauma I witnessed day after day, night after night, month after grueling month the selflessness of my new colleagues along with their journalistic triumphs.

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There could not have been a better place to be a journalist, and over my 11-plus years here I have felt blessed to share in your achievements. This is a newsroom with a lot of smarts, a lot of heart, and no small measure of courage.

In January of 2002, we would publish the first of many Spotlight reports on a decades-long cover-up of sexual abuse by clergy within the Catholic Church. This work – hundreds of groundbreaking stories -- was the product of magnificent investigative journalism and the Globe’s willingness to challenge the Church in court.

This was journalism that changed the world, and its impact is felt to this day. It sent an unmistakable signal that the Globe would hold powerful institutions and individuals accountable. Over the years, we have done just that.

The Globe’s staff would soon go to war, to Afghanistan and then to Iraq, enduring daily hardship and peril to bring stories of surpassing importance to our readers. I will forever be haunted by the loss in Iraq of Elizabeth Neuffer on May 9, 2003. Today I can only hope that the death of a woman so brave and so beloved will somehow help a skeptical public grasp the sacrifices journalists so often make on their behalf.

These have been eventful years, and all of you in this great newsroom have met every journalistic challenge, whether it was a series of remarkable sports victories or the Democratic National Convention or a natural disaster or an economic collapse or the surprise capture of the nation’s most notorious gangster. You name it, and you performed brilliantly.

Your achievements spanned more than daily news coverage. One can only marvel at the series of recent Pulitzers for our arts criticism, which ranks among the best anywhere. Our coverage of health and science stands out for its depth and its insight, again today as we investigate one medical fiasco after the next. Our politics coverage is impressive by any standard, and the Globe became essential reading for anyone covering a presidential campaign. Our narrative features, whether in the magazine or on the front page or anywhere else, demonstrate over and over again the richness of our reporting and the strength of our storytelling. As it juggled so much else, this staff went on to author a set of highly acclaimed books.

The Globe is now routinely recognized for the brilliance of its design and our graphics, online and in print. And we are garnering one award after the next for our pioneering efforts in video, building on a record of excellence in photography.

We have sections, like Ideas and the Globe Magazine, that others in our field can only envy. Our columnists write in the time-honored tradition of spirited, pointed, fearless commentary, igniting conversations and setting agendas. Our copy editors have been a strong last line of defense.

It’s worth remembering –as if you’d forget! – that these journalistic accomplishments came in a time of unrelenting pressures on our business and our profession. You faced up to the challenges with creativity and guts and resourcefulness.

The fiercely hard-working staffs of Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com produce two of the most vibrant news and community websites in the country. Each is distinctive in character, each is built on a different model, and both are known for their infectious innovative fervor.

Thanks to all of you, the Globe is on solid footing and well positioned for the digital future. Even if that future makes you a little anxious, you have embraced it and prepared for it and appreciate its promise. Thank you for making that transformative journey while remaining true to our values and our mission.

I am confident of the Globe’s future. You have remarkable leadership in the newsroom, in our publisher, and in many corners of this organization. You have talented and dedicated colleagues. And, importantly, you know that success comes from working together.

Working with you in this great enterprise has been a privilege. Thank you for welcoming me over 11 years ago and for inspiring me every day since.

Marty

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