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Spotlight: 50 years of groundbreaking investigative journalism
A look back at 15 Spotlight Team projects that changed Boston and beyond. Plus, Globe journalists share the stories behind the stories.
Why the Spotlight Team matters
Investigative journalism helps us achieve one of our most important goals: Making our region a better, fairer, and safer place to live.
Spotlight at 50: Why good journalism matters
A conversation between Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Walter V. Robinson and Tom McCarthy, Academy Award-winning director of “Spotlight.”
(Video produced by Caitlin Healy/Globe Staff)
Five decades in the Spotlight: A selected timeline of groundbreaking investigations
‘I look over — it was Whitey Bulger’: Spotlight journalists reveal the stories behind the stories
Free virtual event | Friday, September 24, 4 p.m.
From Watergate to Spotlight: How investigative journalism has changed and why it’s more important than ever
As part of our inaugural Globe Summit, the Spotlight Team is marking its 50th anniversary with a live panel discussion.
See all the latest Spotlight reports
Explore more from the Globe Investigations team
15 Spotlight Team investigations that made a difference
A look back at some of the journalism projects that changed Boston and beyond.
A half-century ago, Somerville politics was a mess of no-bid construction contracts and cronyism
Mayor Joseph Curtatone recalls a series, long before his time in office, that was a “civic wake-up call” for higher ethical standards.
In the 1970s, there was a spike in cancer at a New Hampshire shipyard. Why?
Spotlight examined some 100,000 death records and interviewed 600 next of kin to probe radiation danger at a naval facility.
The 1970s MBTA: missing cash, threats, and a ‘haven for goldbrickers’
“What’s wrong with the T?” the Spotlight series asked. What isn’t wrong with it turned out to be more to the point.
Police eager to boost their pay joined this program in droves. But there was a problem
Acting on a tip, Spotlight reporters discovered that a degree program costing taxpayers $12 million a year had shockingly low standards.
1988 + 1998
How Spotlight revealed the secret deal between Whitey Bulger and the FBI
Two Spotlight projects, a decade apart, showed how the notorious gangster used his status as a secret FBI informant to murderous ends.
When Spotlight used hidden cameras to catch state judges skipping out on work
“The unspoken motto of the court system might well be: Get it done in the morning or put it off to another day,” read the first entry in the series.
Healthy workers were costing taxpayers $33 million in disability pensions
Doctors had cleared them to return to work, yet they kept collecting checks, golfing, and even working other jobs.
‘They knew and they let it happen’: Uncovering child abuse in the Catholic Church
The Spotlight Team revealed the church’s secret protection of pedophile priests in a series with global repercussions.
Debt collectors shook down the working poor — and state courts let it happen
People had $500 limits on their credit cards. Yet they were suddenly facing thousands of dollars in bills.
Cracking open a patronage hiring scheme in the Probation Department
A 2010 Spotlight investigation shows a Massachusetts department where who you knew seemed to matter most.
A tragic fire and the dangers of student apartments in America’s college town
With Boston-area colleges housing less than half of full-time undergraduates, too many packed into unsafe living conditions.
A world-class hospital. A whistle-blower. A hard look at double-booked surgeries.
Should surgeons operate on two patients at once without telling them?
Investigating how the Massachusetts mental-health system was failing those who needed it most
In a state that prided itself on its health care, why did so many lives of people with severe mental illness end in tragedy?
Asking hard questions about racism in Boston
Spotlight brought data — including surveys of public event attendance, and on workplace and housing discrimination — to interrogating Boston’s ugly reputation.
Did brain damage from football contribute to the violent life of Aaron Hernandez?
In a podcast and print series, the Spotlight Team tells the story of the former Patriots star — and the brutal business of football.