Thursday, April 6, 2017

Boston Globe Spotlight Team congratulates who?

Pittsburg, Kansas is a town of 20,000. It has a newspaper called the Morning Sun, and of course there's the Pittsburg High School student paper, the Booster Redux. When a member of the famous Boston Globe Spotlight Team applauded Pittsburg journalists for cutting-edge investigative reporting, who do you think they tweeted? The high school paper. The student staff, shown here, had seen the movie "Spotlight" last year to encourage themselves as reporters. They never dreamed the Spotlight Team even knew they existed. One student reporter was so surprised he called his mom to tell her. What did the high school reporters do to win such recognition?

                                                                                            Emily Smith / Pittsburg High School
First, they interviewed their school's new Principal, Amy Robertson, who was hired March 6 to the $93,000/year job. Then they noticed some discrepancies with Robertson's academic credentials. "Everybody was telling them, 'stop poking your nose where it doesn't belong,'" said newspaper advisor Emily Smith, but the students kept poking. They investigated Robertson for several weeks, keeping notes on a white board. Then they published an article questioning the legitimacy of her degrees. Result? Amy Robertson resigned even before she started work. The school board accepted her resignation, and the school paper became the subject of local, state and national news, with professional reporters, including the Boston Globe Spotlight Team, applauding the students for questioning authority and discovering the truth.

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