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, carbon offset schemes, police 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 is an occasional series of reports about the global impact of skin color that airs on The World, a coproduction of WGBH, the BBC and PRI. Phillip has worked as a supervising senior editor for NPR and was NPR’s first and only 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 the 2012 PASS Award, the 2012 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Ongoing Coverage (team award), the Margret and Hans Rey WGBH producer award, the 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
8:04 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

Protesting With Plates: A Response To The Watertown Manhunt

Meredith Nierman

Last year, on April 19th, police and SWAT teams combed a 20 square block area of Watertown, Mass., searching for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect who had disappeared after a shootout on neighborhood streets. Residents were ordered to shelter in place inside their homes. When Governor Patrick finally lifted the lockdown, residents exhaled and celebrated in the streets. Most viewed the sheltering command as necessary, even if inconvenient.

Read more
Local News
5:43 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Potential Bulger Testimony Hovers Over Fred Weichel Case

Fred Weichel, left, and James Bulger.
Credit AP

Jailhouse letters written by convicted mobster and murderer James "Whitey" Bulger may play a role in granting a retrial to a South Boston man who has spent nearly 33 years behind bars for what many believe is a crime he did not commit.

Read more
Local News
3:32 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Firefighters Mourn Michael Kennedy In West Roxbury

Firefighters gathered in West Roxbury.
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH News

Beneath an early afternoon sun punctuated by a light breeze, thousands of firefighters stood at attention as the casket of Michael Kennedy — Iraq war veteran, big brother, community volunteer and firefighter — was carried out of Holy Name Church.

Read more
Local News
2:29 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

Convicted Murderer Tries To Clear His Name- With The Help Of 'Whitey' Bulger

Frederick Weichel (left) is appealing his 1981 conviction of first-degree murder, claiming he was framed by convicted mobster James Whitey Bulger.
Credit AP

Shortly after midnight on May 31, 1980, Robert LaMonica parked his car in the lot next to his apartment building in Braintree. He got of the car and started walking toward the entrance when four shots rang out. Two of them hit LaMonica. One entered his brain and he died on the spot.

On August 20, 1981 a jury convicted Frederick Weichel of first-degree murder for the shooting of LaMonica. There was bad blood between the two men, but for 33 years Weichel has maintained his innocence, and further claims that convicted mobster James Whitey Bulger framed him.

Read more
Local News
1:29 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

'Godspeed, Eddie Walsh,' A Fellow Firefighter Remembers

Credit Boston Fire Department

Sitting around his kitchen table, firefighter James Harding listens to a replay of audio from fire dispatchers and crews on the ground as the Beacon Street fire blazed out of control, fueled by 45 mile per hour winds.

Read more
Local News
10:22 am
Thu March 27, 2014

The Todashev Killing: Two Reports OK The FBI; Some Dissent

Ibragim Todashev

Florida officials released the results of a long-awaited first official investigation into the fatal FBI shooting of a Chechen man, Ibragim Todashev. Todashev came to the attention of the FBI because of his friendship with Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Police believe the two men were also involved in a triple homicide in Waltham three years ago.

Read more
Local News
9:36 am
Thu March 27, 2014

'30 Years, I've Never Seen A Fire Travel That Fast'

Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Lt. Edward Walsh, who were killed in a Back Bay fire Wednesday.
Credit Boston Fire Department

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and grim-faced fire officials Wednesday night stood before a phalanx of microphones to fill in the blanks about the lives of the two colleagues who perished in this nine-alarm conflagration: Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, both of Engine 33.

"Lt. Walsh, I've known for a number of years, very competent fire officer, took his men under his wing and was very hands-on," said Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn, who knew both men.

Read more
Local News
3:38 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Two Firefighters Killed In Massive Back Bay Blaze

Boston Fire Department

[UPDATE: 8:17PM] Two firefighters were killed in a fire that ripped through a Bay Back townhouse on Wednesday afternoon. 

Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh, Jr., 43, of West Roxbury and Michael R. Kennedy, 33, of Hyde Park, were both of Engine 33 on Boylston St., Boston Fire Department spokesman Stephen MacDonald said.  

Read more
Local News
7:58 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Lessons Learned From The Boston Marathon Bombing

In this April 19, 2013 Massachusetts State Police photo, federal, state and local law enforcement officials discuss their strategy during the search for 19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at at mobile command center.
Credit (AP Photo/Massachusetts State Police, Sean Murphy)

A day-long symposium on the lessons learned from the Boston Marathon bombing wrapped at Boston University on Monday— attended by law enforcement officials, politicians, academicians, media and victims of the tragedy.

Former Mayor Thomas Menino, now a co-director of BU’s Initiatives on Cities, set the tone for the symposium by praising the overall response to last year’s shocking events.

Read more
Local News
7:23 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Watertown Shootout: Paying Homeowners To Repair Damage

A vehicle found with bullet holes at 55-57 Laurel Street in Watertown after the manhunt.
Credit Courtesy Jean MacDonald

After police announced they had caught the surviving Marathon Bombing suspect, after the shrill sound of police sirens receded into the distance, and after the car horns ceased honking in celebration, homeowners in Watertown were left to face bullets and shrapnel embedded in their homes.

Read more
Local News
4:04 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

51 Police Departments Sign Pact Allowing Cross-Border Arrests, Pursuits

Police converge on a Watertown street during the Boston Marathon Bombing Manhunt in April.
Credit Courtesy Andrew Kitzenberg

Police chiefs in 51 municipalities in Middlesex County have signed an agreement — which they term “historic” — to allow on-duty police officers to cross into another police jurisdiction to carry out arrests, pursuits and other actions without a formal request from the other community when a public safety emergency is declared.

Read more
Local News
8:50 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Rethinking The Marathon Bombing Manhunt

Police converge on a Watertown street during the Boston Marathon Bombing Manhunt in April.
Credit Courtesy Andrew Kitzenberg

A group of Watertown residents met to vent frustration over what some described as heavy-handed local police and FBI tactics during the search for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and community lockdown last April.

Read more
Local News
10:30 am
Mon March 3, 2014

When Addicts Come Calling: Police Tackle A Spate Of Opiate-Fueled Burglaries

There's been a surge of opiate-fueled break-ins in the Boston area, according to police
Credit iStockphoto via NPR

A great deal of media attention of late has been on the reported rise in heroin overdoses across Massachusetts.  In February, police in Lawrence, Methuen and Haverill conducted sweeping heroin-related arrests, and there have also been crackdowns on dealers and addicts in Fall River, Lynn and Boston.

But the fallout from heroin-related crimes and addiction is also being felt in more affluent cities and towns. And that fallout is in the form of increased house break-ins and burglaries in Belmont, Cambridge, and other middle class areas. 

Read more
Local News
1:21 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Two Roxbury Men Convicted Of Human Trafficking

This is how Tyshaun McGhee and Sidney McGee forced two women into prostitution: two men from Roxbury approached a 24-year-old homeless woman outside a hospital in Boston in September, 2012, according to court testimony. They offered her drugs and then drove her to a house nearby, where she was posed and photographed. The men posted the photo online to draw in customers. Another victim was picked up under similar circumstances outside a methadone clinic in Boston.

Read more
Local News
12:24 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Does Class Factor Into Boston Neighborhood Snow Removal?

Complaints about uneven snow removal are fairly common. Days after a storm blew through Boston last year, dozens of side streets and alleys were still packed with snow — I wondered if this took on a class dimension in Boston, as it supposedly did in Manhattan recently when wealthy residents accused the new mayor there of neglecting their streets, a sort of reverse-Dickensian tale.

Read more
Local News
4:16 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Sparks Fly At Bulger Documentary Premiere

Thursday night’s Boston premier of the documentary Whitey: The U.S.A. vs James J. Bulger was one of the hottest tickets in town. The sold out event at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline was attended by the federal prosecutor who sealed Bulger’s fate last summer, and the attorney who defended him. Also at the premier were authors of books on Bulger, families of his victims, and a juror who helped convict the infamous mobster. This all led to several tense and emotional moments during and after the film.

Read more
Local News
3:46 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera Hoping To Rewrite City's Script

Essex Street in Lawrence
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH

Door to door, it's only 28 miles. But politically, the distance between city halls in Boston and Lawrence could span the nation. This month, both cities welcomed new mayors, but any comparison ends there.

While Boston has been on solid political footing for 20 years under former Mayor Tom Menino, Lawrence has been plagued by charges of corruption against some of former Mayor William Lantigua's closest allies. Lantigua lost re-election by just 81 votes, leaving the city deeply divided.

Read more
Local News
11:10 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Approvals Roll On At First BRA Meeting Under Mayor Marty Walsh

The BRA approved the 600 Harrison Avenue project, seen here in a rendering.
Credit Courtesy New Atlantic Development

The Boston Redevelopment Authority board met at City Hall last night to review a dozen development projects that may soon add to the Boston skyline — the first BRA meeting under newly elected Mayor Marty Walsh.

Read more
Local News
4:09 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Unemployment Benefits Battle Drags While Jobless Wait

William DiCarlo
Credit Phillip Martin/WGBH

Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are wrestling over legislation that would extend long-term federal unemployment benefits. The measure passed the Senate yesterday, but the majority of House Republicans — according to the Roll Call Newspaper — are poised to vote against and extension of extra benefits to recipients who’ve had a hard time finding steady work. One of them is a Boston man I profiled six months ago. Life hasn’t gotten any easier for William DiCarlo since then.

Read more
Local News
9:37 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Snow-Stranded Travelers A Boon For Boston Hotels

Boston Hotels —usually less busy right after the New Year holiday — are experiencing an upsurge in business due to the snowstorm.

Outside a Back Bay hotel amid the snowstorm, taxi driver Trihs Albaaz was having a great night ferrying customers from Logan Airport.

"The airport is busy," he said. "Now there are a lot of jobs at Logan."

Read more
Local News
8:55 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Remembering Jerome Grossman

Jerome Grossman, a self-proclaimed liberal and mentor to progressive Democratic policymakers in the state, was laid to rest Sunday. 

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, Congressman Jim McGovern, and former Governor Michael Dukakis were among the dignitaries who attended Sunday's service at Levine Funeral Home in Brookline. 

Grossman’s nephew, state treasurer Steven Grossman, recalled his uncle’s work organizing anti-nuclear weapon and Vietnam war initiatives.  

Read more
Local News
8:17 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Jailhouse Letter From Bulger Raises New Questions About Mysterious Death

Letter from James Whitey Bulger from his Plymouth jail cell in 2013 to Ann Flynn Dickerson regarding the disappearence of her father, Owen Flynn.
Phillip Martin WGBH

Part two of a two-part series. Read part one here.

Read more
Local News
12:56 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

The Disappearance Of Owen Flynn

The Granite Avenue bridge straddles Boston and Milton over the Neponset River. It was here where Owen Flynn's car was found.
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH

Part one of a two part series. Read part two here.

Read more
Local News
8:55 am
Mon December 9, 2013

How A Cambridge Woman's Campaign Against Polaroid Weakened Apartheid

Caroline Hunter on WGBH show Say Brother in 1973.

When Nelson Mandela visited Boston in June 1990, just four months after his release from prison — he acknowledged the role of Bostonians in helping to weaken the apartheid government of South Africa and for his own freedom. Among those Bostonians credited by historians with helping to end oppression in South Africa is a former Cambridge High School teacher who took a risk.

Read more
Local News
7:57 am
Fri November 22, 2013

In 1963: Boston Symphony Conductor Breaks News Of Kennedy’s Death To Audience

The Boston Symphony Orchestra with music director Erich Leinsdorf at Symphony Hall, Boston.
Credit BSO Archives

News of President John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination aired live on radio and television around the world moments after it happened.  But in Boston on November 22, 1963 hundreds of people learned about the tragedy- not directly from media- but from the conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. WGBH Radio

Read more
Local News
8:55 am
Tue November 19, 2013

'Pretty Woman' Vs. The Real World Of Prostitution

Most charges brought against men who have been arrested in Massachusetts for soliciting prostituted women are dropped, according to findings by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. Two years after the state signed into law an anti-human trafficking statute that classifies many prostitutes as victims, they continue to be arrested and prosecuted in larger numbers than johns.

Read more
Local News
8:43 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Prostituted Women In Mass. Pay Greater Price Than 'Johns'

A young woman waits for a customer at a bus stop on lower Blue Hill Ave. in Boston. After the Combat Zone upgraded to luxury condos, four star restaurants, and new live theater venues- prostitution moved uptown, according to police
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH

Despite the fact that for the past year Massachusetts has been armed with a new law to crack down on human trafficking and the people who pay for sex, a New England Center for Investigative Reporting found that most men arrested in Suffolk County for buying sex get their charges dropped.

Read more
Local News
10:19 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Red Sox Fans, Fair-Weather And Dedicated Alike, Celebrate World Series Title

There are a lot of ways to describe the Red Sox World Series victory last night and a lot of ways to describe the fans: dedicated, fanatical, spirited. You could also describe both the night and many fans who took part in it as fair-weather –by their own admission.

As the Fenway faithful know there are Red Sox Fans and there are Red Sox fans and the difference  in the context of victory is like day and night.

Read more
Local News
2:57 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Human Trafficking Survey: Nearly 30 Million Held In Bondage

    

A new report  released this week by the Walk Free Foundation called the  Global Slavery Index concluded that 30 million people worldwide are held in bondage.

Read more
Local News
11:09 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Watertown Manhunt For Tsarnaevs Offers Lessons For Law Enforcement

In this April 19, 2013 Massachusetts State Police photo, federal, state and local law enforcement officials discuss their strategy during the search for 19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at at mobile command center set up near the area where they believed he was hiding in Watertown. Tsarnaev was captured later that night in Waterown.
Credit (AP Photo/Massachusetts State Police, Sean Murphy)

This is the fourth of four stories in an ongoing series.

Minutes after news went out that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been flushed out of the boat where he was hiding, Watertown exhaled.

“Go Watertown!” crowds shouted.

Read more

Pages