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Walter V. Robinson, The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team investigations editor who led the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning report on the Roman Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, is the inaugural Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor in Investigative Journalism at Arizona State University.
The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation awarded ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication a three-year grant to establish the visiting professorship.
As part of the new professorship, Robinson is teaching and directing multimedia investigations that will be distributed via Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS.
The Edith Kinney Gaylord Ethics and Excellence Visiting Professor of Investigative Journalism expands the Cronkite School’s growing investigative journalism program. Recently, the Cronkite School established the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, featuring the first graduate degree in investigative journalism in the country.
“Walter Robinson is an outstanding investigative journalist and teacher,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “His leadership in the classroom has made a tremendous impact on our students. We are thrilled to have him as the Edith Kinney Gaylord Ethics and Excellence Visiting Professor of Investigative Journalism.”
Robinson, who serves as editor-at-large for The Boston Globe, has been teaching at the Cronkite School since 2016 as the Donald W. Reynolds Visiting Professor, helping students with business and investigative reporting. In 2018, his students produced an extensive investigation that appeared in The Arizona Republic on the lasting impact of concussions on former football players with ties to the Arizona Cardinals.
“There is nothing more exciting in journalism education than to help prepare the next generation of investigative reporters, at a time when holding powerful people and institutions accountable has never been more important,” Robinson said. “As has often has been the case, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation is once again willing to support this important work.”
With nearly four decades as a journalist at the Globe, Robinson was editor of the newspaper’s Spotlight Team, which won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its comprehensive investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic priests. The investigation, which exposed a decades-long cover-up that shielded the crimes of nearly 250 priests, was made into the film “Spotlight,” which won 2015 Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.
From 2007-2014, Robinson was a distinguished professor of journalism and Northeastern University in Boston. His investigative reporting students produced 26 Page One investigative stories for The Boston Globe. He returned to the Globe in 2014 as an editor-at-large.
Robinson joined the Globe in 1972 and went on to report on politics and government before covering the White House during the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations. He has covered four presidential elections and was the newspaper’s Middle East Bureau chief during the first Persian Gulf War in 1990 and 1991. He went on to be the Globe’s city editor in 1992 and then the metro editor for three years.
The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation is a grant-making foundation based in Oklahoma that provides grants to journalism institutions throughout the U.S.