Phillip Martin

Senior Investigative Reporter, WGBH-FM

Since joining WGBH in the spring of 2010, Phillip Martin has reported on human trafficking in southern New England, the Boston Marathon bombing, Whitey Bulger, carbon offset schemes, police shootings, training and race, the Occupy movement and the fishing industry in New England, among other topics. 

On WGBH-TV, he is a regular panelist for Basic Black and an occasional panelist for Beat the Press, and hosted the World Compass 2012 presidential primary coverage. He is a Senior Fellow with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and a 2012 International Center for Journalists Ford Foundation Fellow.

In addition, Phillip is executive producer for Lifted Veils Productions, a nonprofit public radio journalism project dedicated to exploring issues that divide and unite society. His Color Initiative --an occasional series of reports about the global impact of skin color--aired on The World, a co-production of WGBH, the BBC and PRI.  Phillip has worked as a supervising senior editor for NPR and was NPR’s first national race relations correspondent, from 1998 to 2001. In 1995, in his role as a senior producer, he helped create The World.

He has received various journalism honors, including a 2014 national Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative journalism (Underground Trade),  2014 Clarion Awards, a 2012 PASS Award, a 2012 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Ongoing Coverage (team award), the Margaret and Hans Rey WGBH producer of the year award, a 2011 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting, the 2010 Asian American Journalists Award for National Radio Reporting, the 2008 Ruben Salazar Award and the 2005 NABJ Radio Documentary Award. He is an adjunct professor at Brandeis University's Heller School of Public Policy.

Phillip was a Harvard University Nieman Fellow from 1997 to 1998 and a U.S.-Japan Media Fellow in 1997. He earned a master's degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and studied international protection of human rights law at Harvard Law School as well as journalism at the University of California at Berkeley in the Program for Minority Journalists. 

Pages

Local News
10:22 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Tsarnaev's Lawyers Open Their Defense In Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

Tamerlan, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Credit FBI

Update, 2 p.m.: The defense has begun presenting its case in the trial of admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. 

Tsarnaev’s defense team began its case on an odd note Monday —calling Michelle Gamble, the FBI photographer called by the government earlier that day.  Attorney Miriam Conrad asked Gamble about the government’s searches of the Tsarnaev family apartment in Cambridge — and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. But the gist of her questioning was unclear.  The defense’s halting beginning was a stark contrast to the powerful closing testimony the government offered earlier, about the death of eight-year-old Martin Richard. And it suggested that, as this case heads toward its conclusion, the defense may simply not have much to work with.

— Adam Reilly

Update, 11:04 a.m.: As the government prepares to rest its case against admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — jurors are hearing more graphic testimony about the attacks.

Read more
Local News
3:42 am
Fri March 27, 2015

'I'm Really Down For That Jihad Life.': So Texted friend of Tsarnaev, Say Feds

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, left, is depicted beside U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. at his trial.
Credit AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins sketch

Jurors in the federal death-penalty trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev  have been shown pressure cooker parts, BBs, nails and a piece of hobby fuse that were found in his apartment.

Read more
News
11:34 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Tsarnaev Trial Puts Cambridge Rindge & Latin High in National Spotlight

Dzhokhar School Photo, CRL

The Boston Marathon bombing trial has forced us to relive the events that led to the loss of limbs, lives and innocence over five days in April 2013.  The trial has also taken us on a tour of familiar area landmarks, which meanings have been altered by tragedy: The Forum Restaurant, Boston Marathon Sports, the Watertown neighborhood of Dexter and Laurel and Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School.    

Read more
Local News
11:09 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Tsarnaev Defense Accused FBI Of Misleading Computer Testimony In Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

Some of the evidence presented at the Tsarnaev trial Thursday.
Credit U.S. Justice Department

3:00 p.m.:

The government continued to try to show that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was inspired by a belief in a violent global jihad to set off bombs at the Boston Marathon in April of 2013.

Read more
Local News
10:44 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Goal Of Boston Marathon Bombing Prosecutors: Fix Tsarnaev As Al Qaeda Devotee

Some of the evidence presented at the Tsarnaev trial Thursday.
Credit U.S. Justice Department

During the tenth day of the Boston Marathon bombing trial, U.S. Prosecutors on Thursday cited numerous documents, music files and sermons extracted from computers and other devices used by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as evidence of his link to radical Islam.

Read more
Local News
9:39 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Tsarnaev's Drug-Dealing Best Friend Lent The Marathon Bomber The Gun Used To Kill Collier

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, left, and Stephen Silva at their graduation from Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School.

A man who Tuesday described himself as Dzhokhar  Tsarnaev’s "best friend" took the witness stand in US District court to testify against him on behalf of the prosecution. But his testimony was blasted by the defense, which suggested it was compromised by a deal made with the government 

Stephen Silva said he had known Tsarnaev since 8th grade. The two attended Cambridge Ridge and Latin, smoked dope together, and chased girls – in his word

Read more
Local News
10:01 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Tsarnaev Trial Turns To Manhunt

Credit Jane Flavell Collins / AP

As the Boston Marathon bombing trial resumes in U.S. district Court in South Boston Monday, testimony will focus on the shootout and manhunt in Watertown, which left one police officer wounded.

Read more
Local News
5:06 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

At Least 3 Reasons Tsarnaev's Defense Was Compromised This Week

Dun Meng testifying at trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Credit Jane Flavell Collins / Associated Press

The Boston Marathon bombing trial continues on Monday.   On Thursday the court heard from a car-jacking victim, and WGBH Radio’s Phillip Martin says his and other testimony this week may have complicated the defense team’s effort to paint Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a reluctant participant in actions planned by his older brother, Tamerlan.  

Read more
Local News
3:25 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Recounting The Death Of His 8-Year-Old: Bill Richard Testifies At The Marathon Bombing Trial

Bill Richard was sworn in just a few feet from the man who killed his son.

But not once did he look at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev throughout his half-hour testimony.

Richard said that day in 2013 he and his family, as the often did, went to the Marathon and then took a break for ice cream. They returned to Boylston Street and tried to get close to the finish line. It was in front of the Forum restaurant that the second bomb went off. The courtroom watched that explosion in slow motion.  The time code code on the video read 14:50.

Read more
Local News
9:15 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Scenes From The Marathon Bombing Trial: Tsarnaev's Guilt Admitted

In this courtroom sketch, defense attorney Judy Clarke is depicted delivering opening statements in front of U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., on the first day of the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,
Credit AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins

A DRAMATIC ADMISSION

The government in its opening statements described in precise and graphic details the circumstances that left 8 year old Martin Richard bleeding to death on a sidewalk near the Forum restaurant on Boylston. 

Lead prosecutor William Weinreb said that the defendant placed a bomb there and then casually made his way to a Whole Foods in Central Square Cambridge where he picked up a carton of milk . 

Read more
Local News
9:27 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Trial Of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Begins

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, in Boston.
Credit Jane Flavell Collins / AP via NPR

Nearly two years ago on Marathon Monday, the second-tier of runners made their way to the finish line, and an 8-year-old boy, Martin Richard was cheering them along. His cheers ended abruptly as did those of two other victims, along with 260 injured bystanders and runners in that first chapter of the Marathon bombing. Chapter Two was the manhunt, shootout and capture. Chapter three begins Wednesday: The federal trial of the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Read more
Local News
1:12 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Jury Seated In Trial Of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, third from right, is depicted with his lawyers and U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., right, as O'Toole addresses a pool of potential jurors in a jury assembly room.
Credit AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins

After two intense months of screening, a jury has been seated in the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Openings statements will be heard Wednesday. 

Ten women and eight men were selected to decide the fate of Tsarnaev, who is charged with 30 counts, including murder.

Read more
Local News
10:50 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Tsarnaev Trial: Last Minute Motions Suggest The Contours Of The Courtroom Drama

With the opening statements expected Wednesday in the trial of accused Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the federal judge in the case heard controversial motions from the defense and the government which reveal the strategic subplots that will factor in the courtroom proceedings to come.

Read more
Local News
9:11 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Father To Sue FBI For $30M Over Death Of Ibragim Todashev

Ibragim Todashev
Credit Courtesy photo

The father of Ibragim Todashev has announced plans to file a $30 million lawsuit against the FBI in connection with the fatal shooting of his son.

Read more
Local News
2:59 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

With A Venue Change Denied, The Death Penalty Looms Large In Tsarnaev Speculation

In this Jan. 5, 2015, file courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, left, is depicted beside U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., right, as O'Toole addresses a pool of potential jurors in a jury assembly room at the federal courthouse, in Boston.
Credit AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins sketch

With the US Appeals court ruling 2 to 1 over the weekend against a request for a change of venue, the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is scheduled to begin this Wednesday.

Read more
News
5:58 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

The Tsarnaev Jury Pool: Questioning the Role of Race and the Absence of Diversity

Defense attorneys for alleged Boston Marathon Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on Thursday filed new information under seal to bolster their request before the US Appeals Court to move the trial out of Boston.  The defense team also moved to dismiss the 30-count indictment against Tsarnaev and cited the absence of racial diversity of the jury pool and the way it was selected.

Read more
Local News
8:43 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Charles Ogletree To Ask AG Eric Holder To Drop Death Penalty For Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Harvard professor Charles Ogletree, left, and Attorney General Eric Holder
Credit Holder: Twp / Wikimedia Commons

Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree is asking outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to spare the life of alleged Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Read more
Local News
5:21 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Tsarnaev, By The Numbers: 235 Prospective Jurors Interviewed

Two-hundred-and-thirty-five prospective jurors have been questioned in the Boston Marathon Bombing trial. That number brings the court closer to opening statements in the case against the defendant, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  

Ten additional jurors Friday were asked their personal feelings about the death penalty and their uses of social media, among other questions. 

A relative of one potential juror perished in the World Trade Center terrorist attack on 9-11, but she said that she was unsure about voting for the death penalty. 

Read more
Local News
4:59 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Tsarnaev Trial: 13 More Jury Interviews, Bringing The Total To 206

So far, 206 potential jurors have been questioned in an effort to find 12 who can serve and sit in judgment of Boston Marathon bombing defendant, Dzhokar Tsarnaev. 

Thirteen individuals were questioned today in US District Court.
 
The cast of potential jurors today included a woman who went to college with an FBI agent listed on the Tsarnaev trial witness list and a woman who said of Tsarnaev  "I can't see myself sitting in a room with someone for four months and then sentencing him to death."

Read more
Local News
10:55 am
Wed February 11, 2015

The MBTA's (Sort Of) Up And Running : Tell Us About Your Commute

MBTA passengers on the Green Line.
Credit Edgar B. Herwick III / WGBH News

The MBTA was up and running (but far from full capacity) Wednesday, a day after rail service was shut down for repairs following a snowstorm that dumped two feet of snow on the Boston area. WGBH senior reporter Phillip Martin looks at a day in the life of those who had no choice but to go to work on Tuesday.

What’s your commuter experience been like this week and how might it be improved?  We'd like to hear from you. Leave your comments below. 

Read more
Local News
9:31 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Trash Collection Goes On

The scene in Boston's Chinatown on Feb. 9, 2015.
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH

 As  inches of new snow settles on top of icy drifts some of the calls to Boston’s emergency hotline were predictable: streets that need plowing and sidewalks that need shoveling. But the majority of calls, said hotline manager Nile Murphy, are questions about...

"The parking ban. Which streets are major arteries and people not allowed to park on?  Trash collection this week."

 And trash in some neighborhoods is piling up with garbage trucks unable to access Boston’s notoriously narrow streets made narrower by piles of snow and stranded cars.

Read more
Local News
1:52 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Acts Of Kindness Accumulate With Snow

People walk down the street in Cambridge during the blizzard.
Credit Meredith Nierman / WGBH News

During a snowstorm, you can always count on certain things happening: A mirror knocked off by a snow plow, wipers stuck to windshields, consumers losing power. What also always seems to happen during blizzards, snowstorms and public emergencies of every sort are acts of kindness — random and otherwise.

Read more
Local News
1:29 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Riding With The Boston DPW Through The Blizzard Of 2015

A Boston Public Works Department truck plows snow during the blizzard.
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH News

The Blizzard of 2015 was the biggest January storm in Boston’s history and the sixth biggest on record — 24.6 inches of snow. Shoveling and hauling it away is the job of Boston’s Public Works Department, so I hopped a ride with a DPW worker for a passenger seat view of the cleanup.

Read more
Local News
12:51 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Judge To Interview 20 Prospective Tsarnaev Jurors

Credit (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)

After a two day delay caused by the blizzard, jury selection is scheduled to resume today in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Read more
Local News
3:40 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Boston DPW To Drivers, Pedestrians: Stay Off The Roads

East 2nd St. in South Boston on Tuesday.
Credit Colleen Flynn / WGBH

The snow is expected to continue falling until late this evening and snowplow operators are hard at work. But Boston Public Works Department officials say a handful of people are getting in the way — literally.

Read more
Local News
12:19 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

DJ Henry's Parents To Attend State Of The Union

In this file photo from 2011, Angela and Dan Henry hold a photo of their son DJ.
Credit Jess Bidgood / WGBH

When President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, among those sitting in the audience will be the parents of Danroy “DJ” Henry Jr., of Easton. 

Read more
Charting Baker's Course
7:58 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Charting Baker's Course: Taming The Bay State's Opiate Epidemic

Credit Mass. Department of Public Health

To mark Charlie Baker's first full week on the job, WGBH News is examining a quartet of deeply problematic challenges facing the new Massachusetts governor. Our second installment, Baker's pledge to tame runaway addiction.

Near Central Square in Cambridge, a women pulled her overcoat tighter to her body, her eyes squinting under gray clouds. Susan is a recovering addict and said she welcomes Gov. Charlie Baker’s pledge to take on the scourge of opiate addiction.

Read more
News
2:30 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Underwater on I-495: A Middle Class in Crisis

Doug and Karen Mow in Franklin
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH News

Eighth report in an ongoing series Rediscovering the Middle Class.

Read more
News
2:15 am
Fri January 9, 2015

The Changing Middle Class Along Route 128

Sixth report in an ongoing series Rediscovering the Middle Class.

Route 128 on this day is packed with drivers heading north and south.

"I mean 128, it’s like a parking lot," said Linda, who says her commute between Boston and Lexington is worth it. "It is. It is great to live here. That’s why I’m still here."

Read more
THE REWIND
6:19 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Race and Racism in 2014: Police, Protests and Immigration

Protest against grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri not to indict a white policeman for killing an unarmed black youth.
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH News

By the time 2014 rolled around many Americans were still fuming over the killing of Treyvon Martin in Florida and the 2013 acquittal of the man who shot him.  As 2014 comes to a close that simmering anger had exploded into ongoing street protests, demands to reform the grand jury system, and a major racial and ideological divide in the country over the perception and reality of racism and police violence.  

Read more

Pages