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Brendan McCarthy

Spotlight Editor


Brendan McCarthy is the Globe's Spotlight Editor. He oversees the Spotlight Team and the quick strike investigative team.

He previously served six years as deputy projects editor. During that time, he led the team that won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. The “Blind Spot” series exposed the government's failure to keep tabs on some of the country’s most dangerous drivers.

Before coming to the Globe in 2018, McCarthy was the founding editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit affiliated with the state’s public radio network. During his tenure, the scrappy start-up produced a podcast that won a Peabody Award, as well as audio investigations that garnered IRE awards and national Edward R. Murrow honors.

As a reporter in New Orleans, McCarthy covered crime and corruption for The Times-Picayune. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2009 and received Columbia University’s Mike Berger award for an eight-part narrative series about a boy’s unsolved murder. He was part of a team behind a PBS Frontline documentary into New Orleans police abuses, work that was honored with a George Polk Award.

He also worked as an investigative reporter at WWL-TV in New Orleans. There, he earned an Emmy for a series on human trafficking in the offshore oil industry.

He began his career at the Chicago Tribune and he’s occasionally written about hip hop and crime for XXL magazine.

Journalism has led to many adventures: McCarthy has been able to ride in a rodeo in Wisconsin, report from remote villages in the Philippines, examine crime in the nation’s murder capital, and chase hurricanes across the South.

He played himself in the HBO series “Treme” and was featured in Spike Lee’s “If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise.” He’s also appeared on CNN, Fox News, NPR, and other major networks.

A proud native of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, McCarthy graduated from Emerson College.