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Conference 2017 Website

A Place at the Table

Walter Robinson

Walter V. Robinson is Editor at Large at the Boston Globe, where his high impact stories about local, national, and international events have graced the front page since 1972.

Robinson led the Boston Globe Spotlight Team that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its investigation of the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests. He returned to the newspaper in 2014 after seven years as Distinguished Professor of Journalism at Northeastern University.

In the mid-1970s, Robinson covered politics and government for the Globe, and went on to cover the White House during the Reagan and first Bush Administrations. He covered the presidential election in 1984 and was the newspaper's lead reporter for presidential elections in 1988 and 1992. In 2000, he did investigative reporting on that year's candidates.

In 1990 and 1991, Robinson was the paper's Middle East Bureau chief during the first Persian Gulf War. In 1992, Robinson became the Globe’s city editor, and then for three years the metro editor. In the late 1990s, he was the Globe's roving foreign and national correspondent, and spent much of that time reporting on artworks looted by the Nazis during World War II that ended up in American museums. He also covered the illicit international trade in looted antiquities. For his reporting on the illicit trade in antiquities, the Archaeological Institute of America in 1999 gave Robinson its first-ever outstanding public service award.

He was the editor of the Spotlight Team for seven years. In 2001 and 2002, the team's groundbreaking investigation of sexual abuse by priests exposed a decades-long cover-up that, in Boston alone, shielded the crimes of nearly 250 priests. The team's work sparked similar disclosures across the country and around the world. Spotlight's investigation was made into the Academy Award-winning film, “Spotlight,’’ starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams.

As a journalism professor, Robinson and his investigative reporting students produced 26 Page One investigative stories for The Boston Globe.

Before joining the Globe in 1972, he served four years in the US Army, including a year in Vietnam as an intelligence officer with the First Cavalry Division. Robinson is a 1974 graduate of Northeastern University. He has been awarded honorary degrees by Northeastern University and Emerson College. He has been a journalism fellow at Stanford University. Robinson is co-author of the 2002 book, Betrayal: Crisis in the Catholic Church.