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Globe editor is honored by 1st Amendment group

By Travis Andersen
Globe Staff / October 15, 2011

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A First Amendment advocacy group is honoring Globe editor Martin Baron for his service to freedom of the press during his tenure at the newspaper and at other newspapers, the organization said yesterday.

The New England First Amendment Coalition said Baron will receive the group’s second-annual Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award, named for the late former editor of the Providence Journal, during a Feb. 10 luncheon at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.

“I’m just really honored by it,’’ Baron said last night. “I think it’s a testament to the staff of the Boston Globe and to the entire newsroom.’’

Baron came to the Globe in 2001 and oversaw the newspaper’s coverage of the clergy sexual abuse scandal the following year. The Globe won a Pulitzer Prize for its series of reports, which exposed the widespread abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests in the region and the ensuing coverup by church officials, prompting similar investigative reports elsewhere.

His career has also included stints at the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Miami Herald.

The Globe has won five Pulitzers during Baron’s time at the newspaper.

The Miami Herald also won a Pulitzer in 2001 under his leadership for the newspaper’s coverage of the Elián González custody dispute.

“If one considers just his and his newspaper’s work on the clergy scandal, it’s obvious the level of determination that was needed to get that story published,’’ Terrence Williams, publisher of The Telegraph of Nashua, N.H., and chairman of the coalition’s nominating committee, said in a statement.

“He and his staff have repeatedly demonstrated the will to inform the public, no matter the obstacles.’’

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.