‘Spotlight’ Exhibits 5 Powerful Lessons On Leadership & Justice
‘Spotlight’ glorified its name in the field of investigative journalism in 2015 after ‘All The President’s Men’ in 1975, based on the Watergate scandal. Spotlight won Oscar for the best picture of the year and acknowledged the role of journalists that help in growing the society for better by fighting all the odds and setting a motivating benchmark to raise awareness.
This inspirational film, Spotlight, portrays the journey of a team of journalists from ‘The Boston Globe’ newspaper who unveils the child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Boston. Despite more than 50% newspaper subscribers being Catholic, this team persists exposing the scandal that had serious repercussions on Catholic churches worldwide.
The Movie Plot
With powerful cast like Mark Ruffalo, Stanley Tucci and Rachel McAdams, the movie literally begins when ‘The Boston Globe’ hires a new editor and he meets the team ‘Spotlight’ who publishes investigative research articles. He inspires the team to conduct research against a priest involved in sexual abuse of the children. Later, the research opens up a number of priests who do not follow celibacy and the team begins to find the victims.
Although the research slows down during September 11 attacks, it picks up the speed soon to expose the offenders. Finding the hidden truths and opening up the sensitive documents, this team proves the sexual offenses against children when many victims come and disclose the reality behind Roman Catholic churches.
Lessons Learned By ‘Spotlight’:
The movie Spotlight may make you feel uncomfortable at the beginning but as you find the team determined to seek truth, the movie flows in an interesting manner teaching us valuable lessons.
1. Fresh Opinions By The Leader Are Essential
The new editor Marty Baron says
“Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we spend most of our time stumbling around the dark. Suddenly, a light gets turned on and there’s a fair share of blame to go around. I can’t speak to what happened before I arrived, but all of you have done some very good reporting here. Reporting that I believe is going to have an immediate and considerable impact on our readers. For me, this kind of story is why we do this.”
Although the existing reporters were good enough to investigate the case before but they somewhere lacked the courage that may shake the community for a very long time in future. The new leader and his fresh opinion gave them a direction and determination to investigate the case, in a very calm and composed manner. His polite requests, courteous attitude and equal respect towards the team members encouraged them to pick up something rocky in the film Spotlight.
2. You Need the Courage To Find The Truth
As the movie Spotlight summary itself shows that sensitive cases can explode the base and may move the trust of followers, yet a good leader must have courage to take it up. Once again, Marty said
“Personally I’m of the opinion that for the paper to best perform its functions it needs to, uh, stand alone.”
The leaders are not just courageous to take essential risks but also appreciate and lead the charge for their employees. Their courage is infectious and emboldens the mission even though the conditions are serious and setbacks are plenty.
2. Team Spirit Is The Key To Win Any Case
When Robby (Micheal Keaton) told his team “It takes a lot of work but not if we’re all on it” makes sense as every team member in the movie works rigorously to find the truth hogged up by the Church community for years. Although he did not consider the subordinates equal to him, the appreciation and anticipating solutions are some of the most important details of the movie.
You can see each and every member of the team giving their best shot in terms of paperwork, opinions, collating prints, and discussing tiniest aspects in detail with trust and confidence.
3. Even Religious Leaders Cannot Escape The Law
“It’s time Robby! It’s time! They knew and they let it happen! To Kids! Okay? It could have been you, it could have been me, it could have been any of us. We gotta nail them. We gotta show people that nobody can get away with this; Not a priest, not a cardinal or a freaking pope.”
Spotlight focused on a very important aspect which was that no matter who you are or what is your position in the eyes of the people, you are not above the law and most importantly, not allowed to conduct the wrongs. Despite so many priests who were not committing the crime, they were aware about the surroundings and none of them raised a voice against the child abuse. Even the power of the Archdiocese of Boston was so strong to silence the whole community, the investigative team made so much noise through their newspaper that couldn’t be ignored by anyone.
4. Fight Against Injustice, Always
“Marty Baron: We need to focus on the institution, not the individual priests. Practice and Policy. Show me the Church manipulated the system so that these guys wouldn’t have to face charges. Show me they put those same priests back into parishes, time and time again. Show me this was systematic, that it came from top down.
Ben: Sounds like we are going after law?
Marty: We are going after the system.”
No matter how much the Archdiocese of Boston tried to suppress the press and community for years, the ‘Boston Globe Globe’ newspaper was ardent for justice and placed themselves strongly in the field of investigative journalism.
Spotlight is not just inspiration but reflects the stress of journalists, importance of strong leadership, courage to go against the world and the cohesive relationship of team members. A must watch and highly recommended movie to refresh your mind with goodness.
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Ben: Sounds like we are going after the law? Should read “after Law” (Cardinal Law)
Thanks a ton!