Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Nice guys finish ...

Congratulations to Eric Moskowitz who leaves The Concord Monitor this week to work at The Boston Globe. Moskowitz will be covering local news at the Globe, according to his co-authored "Capital Beat" column published in Sunday's Monitor.
It is interesting that the Globe would be hiring any reporters after slashing so much payroll and offering buyouts left and right. Although, Moskowitz probably won't be making as much as most of the buyout folks were making, so it is probably a net win. In addition, the Globe needs reporters, so they will continue to hire them, despite saying they are strapped.
Moskowitz has always been commended for being a nice guy. Some in Concord circles have questioned whether or not he has the guts for real, serious reporting. But in the four years he's been here, we've seen it glimmer every once in a while in the pages of the Monitor. And, yeah, he is a nice guy.
But before he goes, two quick exit notes and some free advice, from someone who lived, worked and played politics and media in Boston for almost 18 years:
1) When supposed "disgruntled" employees come to you with information about potential scandals, misuse of funds, or conflicts of interests, ignore your editors and investigate the story, even on your own time. You never know what motives your editors will have for killing the story. And, yeah, they will have motives.
Five words for you: Catholic priest sex-abuse scandal. The Globe editors listened to corrupt individuals within the church and buried this story much to the chagrin of the reporters. The Boston Phoenix's Kristine Lombardi was actually the first reporter to break the story, way before the Globe people even looked at it. After the Globe started sniffing around, then-Cardinal Bernard Law met with the editors and attacked the abuse victims and the story was squashed. Thank God, truly, Thank God for the Phoenix, which continued to produce stories about the problems until the Globe could no longer listen to Law or hold back the story. The stories resulted in some truly evil people being banished from the church. In the end, the reporters at the Globe didn't give up on the story even though their editors did. Later, they would get the grand prize, a Pulitzer, for their coverage and all the glory for the story even though they weren't the first ones to break it.
2) When a Boston area politician - whether it is Mayor Tom Menino, good guy Councilor Stephen Murphy, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtone, or even parking delinquent District Councilor Mike Ross - says there is no story in whatever you are asking them about, there IS a story. Trust me, I'm speaking from experience here. Politicians lie and they're experts at it in Boston. More often than not, it's in their fiber. It's the big time, but they will chew you up and spit you out as fast as you arrive if you aren't prepared. Don't get caught up in that whole "we all want to be friends" crap that pollutes Concord media and politics right now. You aren't their friends: You're the watchdog. There are no friends in Boston, just backstabbers and one-uppers who are trying to keep their heads above water. They will climb all over you in order to keep getting air. Don't let them use you. And remember: A good reporter never gives up a story, no matter what anyone says. Remember that and you will do great things there. Best of luck.

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