BOSTON - (April 24, 2018) – WGBH News Senior Investigative Reporter Phillip Martin has been named a 2017 Sigma Delta Chi Award Winner in the category of Best Investigative Reporting for his four-part series, “Gangs of Nantucket.” The prestigious award was announced by the Society of Professional Journalists, which has recognized America’s top journalists annually since 1932.
Martin’s investigation follows Henry Lemus Calderon, an undocumented Salvadoran teenager, and other members of the immigrant community living on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts. As a result of being flagged as a gang member by a high school resource officer, Calderon was arrested as part of an ICE raid on Nantucket, an unsuspecting location for gang activity.
Calderon was placed in the Bristol County Jail’s immigration wing, reserved for hard-core members of the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs. These two Central American gangs have spent time in the national spotlight as a result of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies.
Initially, ICE officials pointed out that they were looking for gang members among the working-class immigrant residents on Nantucket, but later conceded that any illegal immigrant on the island was subject to arrest, detention and possible deportation.
“We are very proud that the Gangs of Nantucket was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists for the Sigma Delta Chi Award. This series is the result of months of reporting by Phillip Martin and is example of the type of investigative journalism WGBH News strives for,” says News Director Kate Zachry.
Phillip wrote and produced “Gangs of Nantucket” over a seven-month period. The series was edited by WGBH News Executive Editor Aaron Schachter and WGBH News Senior Editor Ken Cooper, who helped distill this complex story into the four-part narrative. Martin will be fêted at the Sigma Delta Chi Awards banquet at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Friday, June 8.
Please find links to the entire “Gangs of Nantucket” series below.
Part 1: The Arrival
Part 2: The Story Of Henry Lemus Calderon
Part 3: The Partnership
Part 4: Fear And Politics
About WGBH News
WGBH News is among the fastest growing local news providers in greater Boston and draws on the talent of a multi-platform newsroom that includes 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR, television and digital reporting. The WGBH newsroom continues to invest in substantive local coverage and has established dedicated desks for innovation, higher education and politics as well as unique partnerships to expand on that commitment, including with WNYC’s The Takeaway, PRI’s The World, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, and The GroundTruth Project.
About Phillip Martin
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. In March 2018, Martin was named one of Boston’s 100 Most Influential People of Color by Get Konnected! 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.