Boston Globe columnist James Carroll is the 2012 recipient of the renowned Scripps Howard National Journalism Award for Commentary. Carroll is a religious scholar, former Catholic priest, and National Book Award-winning memoirist, and has been a highly read columnist at the Globe for 20 years.
“It is a tremendous privilege to have my voice brought to the people of Boston through the Globe,” Carroll said. “I was a pure fiction writer when I started. It was the Globe that helped me discover the voice in which I now write non-fiction.”
Colleagues describe Carroll as a warm and fascinating man and regard his “moral sense” as a great contribution to his work, said Peter Canellos, the editorial page editor. His background and knowledge of religion and the political system gives him a perspective that few have, he added.
“We’re all exceedingly proud of Jim,” said Canellos, who nominated Carroll for the award. “He is an important local voice and inspiration for many Bostonians.”
Through his column, Carroll speaks to readers who struggle to apply the moral lessons of their own churches and childhoods to the challenges of today, Canellos said in the nomination letter sent to the National Journalism Awards selection committee.
Carroll’s first column in 1992 was a tribute to the late Globe writer and editor, Kirk Scharfenberg. Since then, he has filled the Opinion pages with his views on a wide array of topics.
“The award recognizes the Boston Globe as much as me,” Carroll said. “I want to recognize the really superb editing work of Dante Ramos, Marjorie Pritchard, and Peter Canellos.”