|Weekly News Digest
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The Boston Globe Debuts Fresh Start Program to Update Past Coverage
Zoe Greenberg reports on The Boston Globe’s Fresh Start program, which allows people to submit an application to the paper for it to update coverage of them online, including making them anonymous. Greenberg writes the following:
The ‘Fresh Start’ initiative is part of a broader effort to rethink the Globe’s criminal justice coverage and how it affects communities of color, amid a national reckoning over racial inequity.
Similar to ‘right to forget’ programs that have cropped up in a number of newsrooms across the country, the undertaking is meant to address the lasting impact that stories about past embarrassments, mistakes, or minor crimes, forever online and searchable, can have on a person’s life. …
Jason Tuohey, managing editor for digital, said the Globe would consider all requests and would set an especially high bar for updating or anonymizing stories about public figures or serious crimes. To apply, people fill out a short form online with an explanation of why they are requesting a review, including any relevant court documents. …
The Cleveland Plain Dealer launched a similar online initiative in 2019, curtailing the use of mugshots and allowing people who have received court expungements to apply for their names to be removed from the site. The Globe’s initiative does not require people to get a court expungement, in which the court permanently erases a criminal record, before applying. … (Tuohey said the Globe would accept requests from individuals only.)
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