The spotlight team member I was most impressed by was Sacha Pfeiffer. Throughout the investigation, Sacha exemplified a great journalist by maintaining a balance between sympathetic and persistent with her sources.
My favorite scene with her is when she goes to the former priest’s house (who lives with his sister). You can tell she expects this to be another dead-end (this is interspersed with scenes of the other spotlight team members being yelled at/chased away). She asked the man who answered the door for the former priest and he says that is him. She is clearly shocked but reaches for her pen and notebook and starts asking questions which he actually directly responds to. Her best journalistic work is in persistencing and clarifying that he is actually admitting to molesting the boys, even when his sister comes out angrily and tells her to leave. She could have easily just left then and there but she would not of had proof without the written record of him confirming.
Another scene where this is shown is when she meets a victim at a coffee shop. She allows for small talk before just jumping into the interview–which is important because it is a very sensitive subject. The source was clearly very uncomfortable from the start and Sacha is sympathetic to this. By allowing the interview to move to a walk in the park even though this will make note-taking more difficult, it makes the interaction more natural/less uncomfortable because they are not in a restaurant with lots of people around to hear these details. The victim must admit a lot of things he most likely would prefer not to, to a complete stranger. Sacha acknowledges this but encourages him (by explaining the importance of words) to go into more detail.
Sacha was also featured in this film as a dedicated journalist, like all of the spotlight team. Sacha could be found late at night, early in the morning, in her “free” time–researching and interviewing for this story. The investment into this story by it’s writers allowed it the importance it needed to have.
Sacha was debatably closest to the story than anyone, not to say she was a conflict of interest but her grandmother was very involved in the Catholic church and she often went to church with her. Sacha was a good journalist because she tried to not let this interfere with her work and she didn’t tell her grandmother until they had all the details.