‘Spotlight’ journalists to speak at Northwestern next Tuesday


Source: Spotlight Movie on Facebook

The team of reporters portrayed in “Spotlight” attend a screening of the film in Los Angeles. Sacha Pfeiffer (third from right) and Walter Robinson (second from right) will speak at Northwestern next Tuesday.

Emily Chin, A&E Assistant Editor

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Walter Robinson and Sacha Pfeiffer, who were depicted in the movie “Spotlight,” will visit Northwestern next Tuesday to speak about their careers in journalism.

A&O Productions and Studio 22 Productions, a student-run production company, invited the two for their spring speaker event, which will feature a screening of the Oscar-winning film followed by a Q&A session moderated by a Medill professor. The event is the first collaboration between the two groups in the past few years, said Communication junior Maddie Ball, Studio 22 co-chair. It will take place in Ryan Auditorium at 6p.m.

“Spotlight” follows Robinson and Pfeiffer’s team of Boston Globe journalists and their investigation into sexual abuse and coverups within the Catholic Church, a project that earned the paper’s staff the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. In the film, Robinson was played by actor Michael Keaton, while Pfeiffer’s role was filled by Rachel McAdams.

“We just thought given the nature of the film and how it is a real news story and a historical event, it would be extremely interesting to bring the actual people involved in the story to make it educational as well as entertaining,” said Danny Carlon, A&O films co-director.

The Communication junior added that the event is an opportunity for people who haven’t seen “Spotlight” to see the film for free. It also gives journalism students the chance to understand the famed investigative project in more depth, he said.

“(It’s) an opportunity to hear from two respected journalists who have achieved a lot in their field and sort of learn a little bit more about what it was like to be breaking that story,” he said. “But even if you’re not in Medill … it’s a very powerful story and something that a lot of people could and should be interested in.”

Students will be able to submit questions through a Google form before the event and will be notified if their question has been selected, said Communication junior Virginia Van Keuren, A&O marketing and media co-director.

Carlon said organizers hope this collaboration will make the event more inclusive to students from different schools and areas of study.

This is the third consecutive year A&O has organized a joint film-and-speaker event. Two years ago, the group presented the film “Rosewater” and showed “Selma” last year. Maziar Bahari, a featured journalist in “Rosewater,” and Ava DuVernay, director of “Selma,” came to speak at those events.

A&O intends to make this a recurring event structure, said McCormick senior Danny Brennan, A&O co-chair.

Tickets are free for all undergraduate students and will be available on the Norris Box Office website starting Wednesday at 10 a.m.

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