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Boston Globe unveils Spotlight investigative journalism fellowship

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Kerry Hayes/Courtesy Everett Collection

Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight has been one of fall’s most acclaimed hits, with both critics and awards shows lauding its take on the 2002 Boston Globe investigation of sex abuse in the Catholic Church. In the wake of the film’s success, the Globe has announced a $100,000 fellowship to support investigative journalism.

The Spotlight Investigative Journalism Fellowship will be awarded to one or more journalists, who will work with the Boston Globe Spotlight team on a long-term investigative story, with the opportunity to publish it in the Globe. The fellowship is funded by Participant Media and Spotlight distributor Open Road Films, with support from First Look Media.

“The Boston Globe has an unwavering commitment to produce high-impact investigative stories that pierce secrecy and shine a light on issues, individuals, and institutions to expose the truth,” Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory said in a release. “Whether it is the Spotlight Team’s investigation of the Catholic Church in 2002; its relentless reporting of the criminal dealings of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and his ties to federal law enforcement; or its most recent report on hospitals where doctors are running two surgeries at once, accountability reporting is an integral part of The Boston Globe’s daily coverage.”

Spotlight follows the team of journalists who blew open a decades-long cover-up of sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church, and McCarthy, his co-writer Josh Singer, and cast members worked closely with the real-life journalists on the film. Spotlight, which stars Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d’Arcy James, Liev Schreiber, and John Slattery, has been racking up the accolades since its November release, including a nomination on Wednesday for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Talking to EW last month, McCarthy lamented that newspapers around the country have reduced their investigative staff in recent years, joking that it’s “a great time to be in local corruption.” “Maybe the general public doesn’t really understand what we’ve lost and what we’re losing and how important it is to our daily lives,” he told EW. “So I hope maybe the movie raises this awareness, and people start asking, ‘Well, how do we replenish? What’s the solution?’”

Applications for the fellowship can be submitted here, starting Wednesday.