The Big Quit Multiplatform Journalism Project Shares Local Stories in the Wake of COVID-19

BOSTON (October 5, 2021) – GBH News has launched a year-long multiplatform initiative exploring the distinct stories of local people who – by choice or circumstances – are reinventing their lives in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Launching on October 5,The Big Quit: Why I’m Moving On, features stories from people who have found themselves questioning their work and personal lives during the pandemic and made bold choices to forge new identities.

The stories will be published across all GBH News platforms, including GBH 89.7 FM, GBH 2, GBH NewsInstagram and YouTube, and the GBH News website, where visitors can sign up for a designated newsletter about the series.

The Big Quit picks up on a national trend of change. A recentPew Research survey found 66% of adults unemployed during the pandemic say they have seriously considered changing careers and theBureau of Labor Statistics reports that from April to July 2021, nearly 16 million Americans quit their jobs.
“People aren’t only quitting their jobs, they are also quitting where they live, their schooling, their marriages—everything is on the table,” said Pam Johnston, general manager for news at GBH. “But what comes next? We are eager to examine this unique moment in time, what it means to our community, and how it might reframe the future.”

The series begins with a profile of Kate Barry, who left her role as general manager of a Boston restaurant and gave up a dream of owning her own restaurant when the pandemic forced her to reevaluate the industry. GBH News will publish a new profile each week, along with other supporting stories.

Audiences are encouraged to share their own Big Quit story with GBH News by calling 617-300-2004 or visiting

“There is nothing quite like in-depth first-person stories to bring perspective to a widespread trend,” said Stephanie Leydon, director of special projects at GBH News and executive editor of The Big Quit. “We want to source many of these stories directly from our audience. It is my hope we’ll hear from people across all walks of life, as they recalibrate what is most important to them following the upheaval of the pandemic.”

Under Leydon’s direction, The Big Quit reunites many GBH News journalists behindCOVID and the Classroom, the outlet’s recently completed yearlong multiplatform journalism initiative. The core reporting team for The Big Quit includes Senior Digital Producer Emily Judem, Senior Digital Video Producer Greg Shea, Reporter Liz Neisloss and Director of Photography Meredith Nierman. The team is collaborating with all reporters, producers and editors across GBH News.

About GBH News
GBH News is among the fastest-growing local news providers in Greater Boston and draws on the talent of a multiplatform newsroom that includes GBH 89.7, Boston’s Local NPR; television; and digital reporting. The GBH newsroom continues to invest in substantive local coverage and has established dedicated desks for higher education, politics, innovation and investigations as well as unique partnerships to expand on that commitment, including with WNYC’s The Takeaway, The World from PRX and The GroundTruth Project. GBH News partners with CAI, the Cape and Islands NPR station; and New England Public Media in western Massachusetts to connect the Commonwealth with trusted journalism. GBH News maintains bureaus at the Massachusetts State House; Dorchester, Boston’s largest neighborhood; and Worcester. The Forum Network, part of GBH News, collects thousands of video and audio lectures from the world's foremost scholars, authors, artists, scientists, policymakers and community leaders and makes them available online to the public for free.