Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter for the GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting, will be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in June. He has been recognized throughout his career for in-depth and thought-provoking reports on inequities and social justice. He earned a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and studied at Harvard Law School and the University of California at Berkeley.

What are you reading or listening to now? 

I'm reading several books and articles relative to my deep concerns about the possibility of authoritarianism taking hold in the United States and ending multi-racial democracy. I am re-reading How Fascism Works by Jason Stanley and have just started reading Rachel Maddow's Prequel - An American Fight Against Fascism. I'm also reading Neil Postman's prophetic treatise on expanding digital technology Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture and Technology. In addition, I'm reading Heather Cox Richardson's Letter from an American regularly. I'm also reading poetry by Kythe Heller and Firebird and Echo's Errand by Keith Jones.

Who is your role model or inspiration?

There is no easy answer to that question. I have many role models, from the late great poet Gil Scott Heron to my mom the late Louise Brown. I also derive inspiration from W.E.B. Dubois; Charles Ogletree, the legendary attorney; newsman Danny Schechter (“The News Dissector”); Rachel Maddow; Marshall McLuhan; and investigative journalists I.F. Stone and Ida B. Wells. 

Why did you become a public media journalist? 

There is no better environment for telling factual stories and shining a much-needed light on social injustices here and abroad. Public media, like podcasting today, was seen as a means of elongating stories that are often collapsed into 30-second news spots on commercial radio. Though much has changed, GBH still allows a freedom to elaborate and investigate, a freedom not often found at other media institutions. 

What is one word to describe your job? 


Describe an impact that a story that you produced made. 

My series on caste led, I believe, to a wider discussion of this issue in the Boston area and elsewhere. I also believe my two-part report on a Russia-based technology center, Skoltech, helped pressure MIT to reconsider its relationship with the Moscow-based institution. Finally, I believe my stories on the murder of DJ Henry by a Westchester County policeman kept the injustice of this story at the center of public attention. 

Read Phillip Martin’s stories here.