In run down headquarters, Boston Globe journalists still thriving

Eric McLaughlin

Over spring break, I toured the Boston Globe. What I realized when I was there was pretty eye opening.

I was on the college visit trip to Boston that many Malvern juniors make every year. To get out of another info session and campus tour, my Dad scheduled for us to meet with his friend from college and Boston Globe reporter, Kevin Cullen.

Cullen has been at the Globe for over 20 years. He covered Whitey Bulger for the Globe when he was still in Boston, and wrote the book “Whitey,” which then became the movie “Black Mass” starring Johnny Depp. Cullen also was the lead reporter on the Boston Marathon bombers in 2013 throughout their trial. He has also worked on a number of different stories while at the Globe, winning a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage on the child-molestation cover up by the Catholic Church that was the basis for the the movie “Spotlight.”

We first arrived to the only new-looking part of the building, the lobby, where we met Cullen. He mentioned that we chose the worst timing possible because it had just been announced that the Globe did not win any Pulitzer Prize awards for the first time in many years.

As soon as you walked out of the lobby, everything seemed broken and run down. The escalator was broken, the floors were stained from leaks in the ceiling, and the ground squeaked with every step you took.

This is probably why the Globe is moving further into downtown Boston, but the building seemed like it had been that way for many years.

[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] What struck me was how empty the cavernous building seemed. The classified ads room that once had 50 staff working in it now had no one.   [/perfectpullquote]

What struck me was how empty the cavernous building seemed. The classified ads room that once had 50 staff working in it now had no one.

Cullen said that the company has lost a lot of money because of how people now read the news on their phones, tablets, and computers. They use to receive most of their profits from advertisements, and now they can not sell the same number of ads.

Cullen said, however, that newspaper readership has never been higher than now. News can be read from anywhere in the country, anytime you want– but the newspapers are not making profits from the increased readership.

Even with this decrease in funding and profits, the journalists still working at the Globe seemed perfectly happy, saying that they have never worked a day in their life.

One of the coolest things I learned from Cullen was when he explained one of the columns he just wrote about Jimmy Breslin, a columnist for the New York Daily News who recently passed away.

Cullen explained how every good reporter should look up to Breslin and should always be thinking WWJD (“what would Jimmy do”). He explained how Breslin would often cover the story that no one else saw.

When JFK was shot and every reporter in the world was interviewing the police, secret service, and congressmen, Breslin wrote a story about the man who dug JFK’s grave for $3.01, Clifton Pollard.

I think that this resembles what we tried to do in this month’s issue of the BFC. We decided not to do profiles on the varsity football captain, student council president, or the star lacrosse player– but instead to focus on students whose stories might otherwise not be told.

The brotherhood includes everyone at Malvern. From the gravedigger to the President, journalism has taught me that everyone has has a story.