Discover more from Contrarian Boston
News tips? Story ideas? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Really bad news for local news: Globe parts ways with one of its best reporters
Compelling and consequential: Two words that best describe the stories that Andrea Estes regularly produced during her more than two decades at The Boston Globe.
Estes’ dogged reporting uncovered the sleazy kickback scheme that landed former House Speaker Sal DiMasi in federal prison in 2011.
And remember that Methuen police chief whose pay at $326,707 a year topped his counterparts in Boston and New York? That was another Estes story.
An investigative reporter, Estes and the Globe parted ways in the wake of an explosive story about managers at the woeful MBTA working remotely - literally dialing it in from other cities across the country.
The Globe has since published corrections to the original story, which reported a total of nine managers working for the T but primarily living in other cities. The corrections suggest that three of those nine managers claim to be actually living primarily in the Boston area and are not working remotely.
A spokesperson for the Globe confirmed that Estes is no longer with the paper, but declined further comment.
Meanwhile, the Globe’s new editor, Nancy Barnes, in an email to staff, has pledged to “unravel” just what went wrong, reports Media Nation’s Dan Kennedy, who broke the story that Estes was no longer with the Globe.
A bunch of things seem really off here.
For starters, to pin the alleged mistakes in the story solely on Estes seems grossly unfair. Where was her editor? And with the prominent play the Globe gave to the story, there surely were other editors involved in at least reviewing the piece.
We can also think of at least two prominent journalists at the Globe who messed up far more seriously than Estes - if she indeed messed up - and are still with the paper.
And where was the T in all this? Estes was far from a slapdash reporter. Did the T purposely withhold some information - that three of the nine managers had alibis, so to speak - in order to discredit the story after it ran?
After all, putting those three cases aside, we are still left with a very disturbing story, with six highly-paid T executives allowed to manage key projects from homes in distant cities. In fact, that’s how the story, which remains on the Globe’s website, reads now.
Senior management at the T was either Ok with this, or had no idea it was happening.
Either way, given the meltdown we’ve seen at the T, that in and of itself is absolutely shocking.