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. 

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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
12:37 pm
Mon September 8, 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
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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Local News
9:52 am
Fri May 2, 2014

BC's Oral History Of 'The Troubles' Spurred Arrest Of Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams

A police vechicle leaves Antrim Police station in Northern Ireland, Wednesday, April, 30, 2014. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has been arrested and is being questioned at Antrim police station about the 1972 murder of Jean McConville.
Credit (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

The arrest Thursday of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams came as a shock to many. The leader of the political wing of the Irish Republican Army was one of the parties to the Irish Peace agreement of 1998, which ended the guerilla war in Northern Ireland. Adams is now suspected of ordering the 1972 abduction and killing of a widow and mother of ten children. The information leading to his arrest came from a Boston College oral history project that the British Government agained access to with help from the U.S. Justice Department. That once-secret information exposes the role of informants during the decades old conflict.

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Local News
10:18 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Senator Elizabeth Warren's Populist Manifesto: 'A Fighting Chance'

Elizabeth Warren
Credit WGBH News

With the release of her long-anticipated memoir, "A Fighting Chance," Senator Elizabeth Warren's detractors are once again raising the issue of her Native American heritage, which was used against her in the 2012 senate race with Republican Scott Brown. But Thursday night did not belong to Warren's detractors. Warren took the stage to tremendous applause from her progressive-liberal base, as she used the book launch as a platform to address what has become her issue de jour: rising income inequality in the United States.  

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Local News
1:57 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Identifying Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Click for an animation identifying Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the crowd.
Credit Photo courtesy Aedeen Twomey

This is one of the photos sent to the FBI in their search for the Marathon bomber in April 2013. The photo, photo by Aedeen Twomey, is credited with helping to eventually identify Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Correction: An earlier version of this post noted Tsarnaev had just set down the bag. That has not been determined. 

View the full-size photo below.

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Local News
4:06 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

They Will Run Again

A Runner flexes Boston Strong
Philip Martin WGBH News

  On April 15, 2013, thousands of athletes surged toward the finish line only to be stopped in their tracks by two homemade bombs.  A few days later President Barrack Obama came to town, and spoke movingly about that unfinished race. "They will run again," he promised. And more than 32,000 did. Obama exhorted the nation to run, and to race. He confidently declared:  "your Commonwealth is with you, your country is with you, we will all be with you as you learn to stand, and walk, and yes, run again. Of that I have no doubt. You will run again." 

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Local News
10:16 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Electronic Surveillance Increased For Boston Marathon And Future Events

Credit Phillip Martin/WGBH

 

Today’s Boston Marathon will involve unprecedented levels of security. Knapsacks and large bags are not allowed near the finish line. Tactical units are on hand, canine units have been deployed and new security cameras watch over the crowds.

At a Congressional oversight hearing last May, former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said these steps were needed to effectively monitor future acts of terrorism.

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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. But two Watertown residents not only saw the directive as a violation of civil liberties, but went so far as to create works of art that protested the imposition.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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