As a fan of good religion-focused journalism, I'm deeply dismayed that the Globe's Michael Paulson is leaving his post as that paper's religion writer. Paulson was living proof that religion doesn't need to be a boring beat; instead, if approached with imagination and style, it can yield no end of great stories. (Take a look at Paulson's blog, Articles of Faith, and you'll get a sense of the richness and variety of his approach.)
But Jen Peter, the Globe's new metro editor, has started her tenure by installing Paulson in the city editor slot she just vacated. The memo from Peter follows; if Paulson's editing talents are commensurate with his religion-reporting skills, the city desk is in good hands.
In my first official act in this post, I am thrilled to announce that
Michael Paulson will become the Globe's new city editor, effective
immediately. He brings to the job his unerring news judgment, sense of
fairness, and a native's knowledge of what makes Boston tick. I am
confident that our local news operation, and the Globe as a whole,
will be stronger with him in this new leadership role.
During his nearly exactly 10 years with the Globe (his first day was
Jan. 10, 2000), Michael has covered the region's communities of faith
with a sensitivity and authority that have made him one of the most
esteemed religion reporters in the country. He was a member of the
Globe team that, quite literally, changed the world, with its coverage
of the clergy sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church. The
coverage won the newspaper the Pulitzer Prize for public service and
just about every other journalism award that exists.
He has also chronicled the Episcopal Church's internal battle over gay
marriage, the closings of multiple Catholic parishes, and the death of
Pope John Paul II. These stories, combined with his coverage of the
sex abuse scandal, earned him the Religion Communicators Council's
Wilbur Award four years in a row. I could go on, listing more stories
that won more awards, but I think you get the idea. He had an
Perhaps most important to me, and what I hope to accomplish in my new
role, Michael also was one of the first reporters to grasp the
potential of online coverage. He liveblogged Archbishop O'Malley's
elevation to cardinal in Rome and Deval Patrick's historic
inauguration as the state's first African-American governor. He
produced several videos for boston.com and launched a blog, "Articles
of Faith," that drew a devoted readership
Most recently, Michael joined the desk on a temporary basis to help
orchestrate coverage of the Boston mayoral race and the special
election for Edward M. Kennedy's Senate seat. He was thrown into the
thick of it, arriving just as the Menino email scandal was breaking,
and handled it with the skill of a seasoned pro. He has even been
vigilant about getting stories in on time and within budgeted length
-- something he had only mixed success with during his otherwise
sterling reporting career.
Born and bred in Newton, Michael has deep roots in the area and is a
lifelong Globe reader (or so he professes). Before joining the Globe,
he covered city, state and national politics for the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer. He also has worked stints at the Patriot Ledger
and the San Antonio Light, where he covered the 1992 presidential
campaign. He will lead a city desk already brimming with talent,
energy, creative story ideas and good will. I look forward to what we
all can accomplish together.
Please join me in congratulating Michael on his new role.