I recently saw the movie Spotlight and learned why the Academy awarded it Best Picture this year. For those that don’t know, Spotlight is the name for a team of reporters at the Boston Globe. The movie is two stories in one: a) the widespread sexual abuse by priests and b) a behind-the-scenes thriller about how investigative journalism works at its best.

When I first heard about it, I thought of it as a modern day All the President’s Men from the 1970s that uncovered the Watergate scandal through top notch investigative reporting. It turned out that there was more similarity than I knew.

One of the key players in the Watergate story was Ben Bradlee, then editor of the Washington Post. In Spotlight, I was amazed to see Ben Bradlee, Jr. as an editor at the Boston Globe. How many fathers and sons can say they won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and were the subject of a movie nominated for Best Picture?

I wonder whether it was coincidence or legacy that two of the nation’s most important journalistic stories were edited by members of the same family. I vote for the latter. As I have said before, people are always learning from those around them. I suspect that Ben Jr. picked up some of the tenacity, resilience and courage from his father that manifested itself in persistence as an editor at The Globe.

Someone is watching you today. Be intentional about what you want them to absorb.

beth triplett

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