Purposes: For today’s class, we will learn the processes of conducting investigative reports and skill sets required of journalists by watching the Academy Award’s 2016 Best Motion Picture of the Year: Spotlight.
Synopsis: Spotlight tells the riveting true story behind the 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Global investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world.
Instructions: Watch the Spotlight on your own (or with friends). As you watch the movie, pay attention to the following questions and take some notes. Share your thoughts on this discussion thread.
- Spotlight: The four-person investigative team at the Boston Globe work closely and confidentially on the widespread historical abuse in the Catholic Church. When you watch the movie, pay attention to the role, work and responsibility of each reporter (and/ or editor). Use the space below to takes notes on what the journalists and editor did respectively. In particular, consider how they work both independently and collectively: in what situation/ scenario did they work independently, and what collectively?
- People Trials: The key to successful investigative reports is to find and develop sources – both on background and on the record. This is what we call the “people trails”. Use the space below to take notes on the “people trails” in this movie: who did the journalists talk to? How many different directions of various sources have they followed? What documents/ records/ archives have they researched into?