Martin Baron came to the Washington Post after senior roles at the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times and editing the Miami Herald and the Boston Globe. In 2015 he was portrayed on screen by actor Liev Schreiber, in Spotlight, an Oscar-winning film based on the Globe’s reporting of a child abuse scandal in the Catholic church. The Boston Globe won six Pulitzers under Baron, including the 2003 public service prize for the Spotlight reporting.
The 65-year-old executive editor of the Washington Post who led the Boston Globe’s investigative reporting on child abuse in the Catholic church and its cover-up, will retire on February 28. The Globe won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003, and the movie “Spotlight,” which portrays the investigation of the scandal won the Oscar for best picture in 2016.
“I feel ready to move on,” said Baron in a memo to the Post’s staff according to the Post. He said it was meaningful to have a profession that serves to safeguard democracy, adding that it is the duty of journalists to seek the truth and tell it.
Baron, who was born to a Jewish immigrant family in 1954 in Tampa, Florida, started his career at the Miami Herald in 1976. He was formerly the editor of the New York Times and the Boston Globe before joining the Post in January 2013. On the strength of the support from Jeff Bezos who acquired the the Post nine months later, he led the revival of the newspaper.
It is well known that he did not succumb to outside pressure while investigating the Catholic church’s child sexual-abuse scandal. Boston has a large Irish population, and attempts were made to stop him, concerned the impact of the reporting on the Catholic church, but to no avail. In Spotlight, Baron who was portrayed by the actor Liev Schreiber says reporting such scandal is exactly what a journalist is supposed to do in response to an insult that questioned his integrity.
“You leave behind a newsroom that is bigger and stronger and more thoughtful than ever,” Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos wrote in an Instagram tribute to Baron. “You will be missed so much. Not just your intellect but also — and most hard to replace — your heart.” It is unknown who would be his successor.