Famed Boston Globe Reporter Returns to Alma Mater to Give Stu­dents a Unique Learning Experience

Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor Walter Robinson recently intro­duced two inno­v­a­tive inves­tiga­tive reporting courses to Northeastern’s School of Jour­nalism. Selected based on fac­ulty rec­om­men­da­tions and stu­dent work, the small groups of stu­dents work together to uncover their sto­ries and divvy up the reporting and research as Robinson acts as their editor. He helps to guide them throughout the prac­tice of “prospecting” a story and spends­sev­eral class­es­dis­cussing the process of inter­viewing. In the Spring and Fall semes­ters’ of ’07, the stu­dents pro­duced six page one inves­tiga­tive sto­ries that ran in The Boston Globe.

Walter Robinson brings a wealth of expe­ri­ence to our pro­gram as one of the nation’s leading jour­nal­ists,” said Stephen D. Bur­gard, director of North­eastern University’s School of Jour­nalism. “This ben­e­fits all of our stu­dents, and is of spe­cial interest to grad­uate stu­dents and select under­grad­u­ates inter­ested in learning inves­tiga­tive reporting tech­niques from one of the industry masters.”

Robinson won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for uncov­ering the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. He spent 34 years at the Globe where he directed their inves­tiga­tive unit, the Spot­light Team, from 2000 to 2006. Robinson came to the uni­ver­sity in 2007 as a Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor and cre­ated the courses.

Robinson keeps his classes at North­eastern small and orga­nized like the “Spot­light Team” he led at the Globe.

I think of the class­room as a news­room,” said Robinson. “They are not ‘stu­dents’ but jour­nal­ists. They are inves­ti­gating and reporting real news.”

The courses give stu­dents “real-​​life” expe­ri­ence in and out of the class­room at a uni­ver­sity known for its sig­na­ture co-​​op pro­gram. Robinson’s classes have the oppor­tu­nity to see first hand what an inves­tiga­tive jour­nalist must go through from uncov­ering a story, inter­viewing sources and writing an in-​​depth piece of the highest quality to having their article pub­lished in a major daily newspaper.

Robinson began his career as a North­eastern co-​​op stu­dent at The Boston Globe and joined the paper imme­di­ately upon grad­u­a­tion in 1974. He is cur­rently teaching “Advanced Reporting” for under­grad­u­ates and “Sem­inar in Inves­tiga­tive Reporting” for grad­uate students.

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Samantha Fodrowski at 617–373-5427 or at s.​fodrowski@​neu.​edu.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.