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. 

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Immigration
3:26 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

'I have my family here and I’ve been living here for 25 years. This is my country.'

President Obama’s new executive action program defers the deportations of undocumented immigrants for three years.  And many of the 150 thousand immigrants without legal status in Massachusetts are expected to apply.  Some were at an immigrant rights celebration yesterday at the State House and I spoke with them about how the President’s executive order might affect them. 

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Local News
1:46 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Tom Menino's Final Ride

Mayor Tom Menino's funeral procession nears Dudley
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH News

One of the neighborhoods in which Thomas Menino’s funeral procession traveled in route to the church service in Hyde Park was Dudley Square.   And before you could glimpse the procession you could hear it, as nearly a dozen police motorcyclists escorting the casket neared the corner of Washington and Melnea Cass Blvd.

Ethnically diverse columns of residents stood in solemn attention like soldiers sending off their general.

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News
12:44 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

After Menino: Measuring the Psyche of the City

Home made sign for Mayor Menino in Dudley Square
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH News

Boston woke up a week ago to a new era without Thomas Menino, who was put to rest on Monday, November 3rd.   The mood of the city was reflected in homemade placards that read “Our Mayor” and profound expressions of grief .  WGBH’s Phillip Martin took a measure of the city’s mood following the death at the age of 71 of Boston’s longest serving mayor.  

What is this city feeling right now, days after it buried its popular and longest serving mayor?  If Boston could speak it might voice the words of Marvin Oliveros of Roslindale:

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Local News
11:27 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Charlie Baker's Long Night

Charlie Baker finally addressing supporters at 1:20 AM
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH News

It was a long night, but it wasn’t supposed to be in the view of several Charlie Baker supporters who quoted recent polls, including a Boston Globe survey that had Baker up by nine.  When the doors opened to the public at 7:00 pm, the music blared, and Baker volunteers seemed sure of victory.

“My name is Rick Gorka. I’m a Republican consultant here in Massachusetts.  We’re expecting a strong showing from across the state and a Charlie Baker victory tonight.”

Earlier in the day Charlie Baker told reporters: 

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Local News
12:05 am
Mon November 3, 2014

A Catholic Church With A Renewed Mission For The Poor Celebrates Menino

An injured former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino spoke at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross during an interfaith service for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

The weather was awful Sunday, but the pews in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston's South End were filled for a special mass celebrated by Cardinal Sean O’Malley for the repose of the soul of Thomas M. Menino, the city’s longest serving mayor.

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Local News
3:52 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Grading Menino On Race

Former Boston Celtics basketball star Bill Russell, right, chats with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino during a ceremony honoring Russell after his statue was unveiled at City Hall Plaza in Boston, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013.
Credit AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Before Tom Menino took over the reins of city hall, Boston’s national reputation for contentious race relations hung over the city persistently. That reputation lingered even after he left office in 2013. But the reality is race relations did change under Menino’s watch — and some say for the better.

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Local News
2:18 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Four Years After He Was Killed By Police, DJ Henry's Memory Is Helping Kids

Angella and Dan Henry. Angella Henry said she works day and night to keep the memory of her son alive through the DJ Henry Dream Fund
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH

It's been four years since a college student from Easton was shot to death by a New York police officer. Since then, Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer and Michael Brown was killed by a policeman. The controversial killings of these young black men have sparked community outrage and scrutiny of the behavior of law enforcement. For the family of Danroy “DJ” Henry Jr., they still wait for the legal process to play out — but they're also finding ways to remember their son.

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Local News
11:23 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Report: New England Industries 'Ripe' For Human Trafficking

Labor trafficking is a worldwide phenomenon.
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH News

New England's agriculture, resort and hospitality industries are ripe for labor trafficking and the exploitation of immigrants, according to a study released Monday by Northeastern University and the Urban Institute.

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Local News
3:28 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Prostitution Arrests: Worcester And Lynn Spotlight The Gender Gap

Washington Street in Lynn.
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH News

Massachusetts has tried to put more muscle to fight human trafficking and prostitution. One initiative seeks to reduce demand by arresting men who are buying sex. But an investigation by The New England Center for Investigative Reporting shows the vast majority of those arrested in Massachusetts remain women.

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How We Live
1:43 am
Tue September 30, 2014

I'm Going to Miss Summer: An Audio Essay on my favorite season

Missing Summer already
Credit Phillip Martin

I miss it already. Do you?  Summer provides a kind of freedom that we can only dream about in Fall and Winter: sleeveless, coatless walks along the Charles, outdoor dining on the Boston harbor, picnics in Franklin Park, fishing on the Spigot River in Lawrence, pickup basketball games everywhere. California Dreaming.

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Local News
12:26 am
Tue September 30, 2014

What Happened To The Sixth Graders Who Wrote Essays About Busing?

Joseph Kirnon, left, and Cynthia Martin.
Credit Kirnon: James Edwards; Martin: Mallory Noe-Payne

This is is Part Two of an ongoing year-long series on the impact of court ordered desegregation in Boston.  Part One can be accessed here.  This series is produced and reported in partnership with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.

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Local News
12:03 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Dorchester Students' Essays Echo Boston's Busing Crisis, 40 Years Later

The Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School sixth-grade class in 1974.
Credit Courtesy The Schuster Institute

This week, 40-years ago, marked the start of phase one of the Boston school desegregation plan. It required busing white children to mainly black schools and black kids to mainly white schools. Recently a pile of essays written by sixth graders at a Dorchester school — yellowed over time — were discovered by a Brandeis University research team combing through the papers of former mayor Kevin White, who was charged with carrying out court-ordered desegregation. WGBH News and the Schuster Institute tracked down some of the now 50-year-old authors of those essays. 

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Local News
5:00 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Is Boston A Feeder City For ISIS?

Tarek Mehanna, left, and Ahmad Abousamra,
Credit Mehanna: Sudbury police; Abousamra: FBI.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday declared that the coalition of Arab allies joining in the U.S. attack on ISIS “makes it clear to the world that this is not America’s fight alone.” And it seems that the organization the U.S. is fighting to destroy may be looking for a few allies of its own. ABC News reports that Boston is among three cities where the FBI is looking for people sympathetic to ISIS.

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Local News
9:30 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Remains Of 3 Infants Found In Blackstone Home

A Blackstone, Mass. police vehicle drives in front of a house where a Massachusetts prosecutor said the bodies of three infants were found, Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Blackstone.
Credit (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

A 31-year-old woman is in custody and facing arraignment this morning in Uxbridge District Court after the remains of three infants were found in a home in Blackstone on Thursday. A hazardous-materials team has been in and out of the house the past 24 hours sifting though what police describe as "piles of filth."

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Politics & Government
5:51 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Grossman Loses Gov. Bid By Smaller Margin Than Expected

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley won the Democratic primary for governor, defeating Democratic party chair Steve Grossman by a smaller margin than expected.

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Local News
1:50 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

What Can Unions Learn From The Market Basket Revolt?

A car in Somerville has messages of support for Market Basket workers written on it.
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH News

Unions across the country watched the Market Basket workers revolt unfold, and some say it is like nothing anyone has seen before in modern U.S. labor history. Some suggest that the Market basket case study could affect how they organize.

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Local News
4:46 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Ferguson: The Latest Racially Tinged Case Of Death-By-Police

Photos of DJ Henry at his parents' Easton home. Henry was shot and killed by a police officer in 2010.
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH

The recent killing of a black teenager by a white policeman in Ferguson, Mo., has evoked memories of an incident four years ago, closer to home — the shooting death of Danroy Henry Jr., known as DJ, who lived in Easton. Both of these cases have raised concerns about the role of racial bias in rationalizing police actions.

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REDISCOVERING THE MIDDLE CLASS
3:20 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

In Hingham: Searching For The Middle Class

Main Street in Hingham.
Phillip Martin WGBH News

Fourth in an ongoing series on Massachusetts' changing middle class. Read Part OnePart Two, and Part Three.

The middle class used to be easy to define. An affordable home, good schools, a little money saved for a family vacation. But today, the middle class — almost half of all Americans — live with a certain anxiety because of an uncertain economy. One town, Hingham, is challenged as it reaches the height of the middle class.

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Politics & Government
10:12 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Walsh Stands By Comments On O'Brien Verdict: 'I Answered The Question'

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, left, and former probation commissioner John O'Brien.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told WGBH News that he has no regrets about comments he made criticizing a jury’s decision to convict former probation commissioner John J. O’Brien and two deputies last week of corruption.

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Local News
10:20 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Cambridge Fire Displaces As Many As 40 People

A fire displaced as many as 40 people in Cambridgeport.
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH News

As many as 40 people were displaced Sunday morning by a fast moving fire in Cambridge.

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Local News
7:32 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Gentrification And Climate Change Squeeze The Middle Class In Hull

Nantasket Beach in Hull
Phillip Martin WGBH News

Third in an ongoing series on Massachusetts' changing middle class. Read Part One and Part Two.

If there is one symbol of Hull’s rough and tumble past and its gentrified present, it’s the wooden horses that go round and round to the sound of carnival music near the Nantasket Beach boardwalk.

"The carousel has been here for 86 years from 1905 to 1985," said Patricia Abbate, head of Hull’s Chamber of Commerce, who runs this famous landmark merry-go-round. "So it’s really touched generation after generation of folks growing up around here."

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Local News
6:23 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Pols Plan To Strenghten Security At Health Clinics That Offer Abortions

Credit (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley outlined possible legislative steps that the state will take to ensure unimpeded access to women's health clinics that offer abortion at a press conference on Wednesday. 

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Local News
5:09 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Tsarnaev Defense Hearing Turns Into Legal Exploration Of Patriotism

This courtroom sketch depicts Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev during arraignment in federal court Wednesday, July 10, 2013 in Boston.
Credit (AP Photo/Margaret Small)

On Wednesday what was supposed to have been a hearing on a defense request for a change of venue for the upcoming trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev turned into a legal exploration of patriotism.

The status hearing, stuffed as these sessions go—with tactical requests from the defense and prosecution, was over within an hour.   

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Local News
4:14 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Boston's Vanishing Middle Class

A Mercedes-Benz sits outside a café in Newton Centre.
Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH News

Second in an ongoing series on income inequality in Boston. Read part one here.

Ten miles from downtown Boston, Newton Centre sits at the crossroads of America’s upper-middle class.

At local cafés, business cards are exchanged and deals are made in the same space where European nannies meet to discuss life back home and caring for privileged infants here.

But the Mercedes Benzes and BMWs parked outside Peet's Coffee & Tea mask the anxiety some here are experiencing about their place in the area’s complex economic landscape.

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Local News
12:18 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Goal: To Cut Prostitution By 20 Percent In 2 Years

Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH

On Tuesday there was a summit in Boston at the Commonwealth Hotel—attended by Mayor Marty Walsh—to examine the role of sex-buyers in fueling human trafficking with an eye toward reducing prostitution by 20 percent in two years.

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Local News
5:26 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Inequality In Boston: An Urban Crossroads

Credit Gustav Dore

First in an ongoing series on income inequality in Boston. 

On a May morning, Boston is alive.  Taxis are darting here and there,  deliveries are being made, and Boston Common is filled with a crossroads of diversity:  folks in spring dresses, shirts and ties, blue and brown collar uniforms, t-shirts and light jackets- all heading to destinations connecting this downtown park pathway- from the State House to Emerson and Fisher to Charles Street, to the Arlington Street Church. 

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Local News
1:09 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Reconciling Maya Angelou's Legacy With Her Support Of Clarence Thomas

Maya Angelou in 1992, left, and Clarence Thomas in 1993.
Credit AP Photos

The death of American poet Maya Angelou has been greeted with both grief and accolades for her contributions to the American literary canon. But it also has stirred memories of her early support for a controversial man, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. In 1991, some viewed this as a strange contradiction.

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Politics & Government
8:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

In Cambridge, Geithner Defends Role In Bailouts

Timothy Geithner talks in Cambridge.
Credit Alison Bruzek / WGBH News

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner defended his role in the tax-payer bailout of banks and applauded President Barack Obama for rescuing the American economy last night in Cambridge before an audience of nearly 300. Many of his critics believe that Geithner, promoting his new book, “Stress Test,” did more to help the financial sectors than the middle class.

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Local News
3:00 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Touring Boston's Neighborhoods With Development Czar John Barros

John Barros

Boston is experiencing a development boom — with new luxury high-rises and modern corporate buildings scraping the sky. But is a boom for Boston a bust for the middle class as evidenced by growing income inequality? John Barros — the city’s new economic policy czar tasked with reorganizing the Boston Redevelopment Authority — says the administration of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is committed to balancing the priorities of ambitious developers with the needs of struggling communities.

Barros took me on a tour of some of the city’s development projects to explain how.

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Local News
10:57 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Carmen Ortiz In The Spotlight, Under Fire

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, surrounded by some of her high-profile cases.
Credit AP Photos

As Massachusetts' first female and first Hispanic U.S. Attorney, Carmen Ortiz was widely considered a potential rising star in Democratic Party politics. But over the past three years she has had her hands full with controversial cases that have left whatever political plans she may have had in a state of uncertainty.

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