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Having An Impact - Journalism is Thriving at GBH

Journalism is Thriving at GBH

COVID and the Classroom

At a time when many news outlets are downsizing, GBH is growing.

Our award-winning local and national coverage, delivered across multiple media platforms, positions GBH as a public media leader.

Since joining GBH as the general manager for news this past summer, Pam Johnston has infused the newsroom with a quest for hard-hitting journalism that makes a difference.

“We are always pushing to develop fresh ways to reach and engage with new audiences in places we wouldn’t have thought of before,” says Johnston.

In September, GBH News launched COVID in the Classroom, a year-long series that follows three high school students from three different Massachusetts communities as they navigate their landmark senior year in the midst of a global pandemic. Since the crisis began, GBH News has provided reliable, local COVID reporting in its daily radio program (now podcast) In It Together, hosted by Arun Rath, who was named Best Radio Personality by Boston Magazine.

“I want GBH News to become a bigger player in the type of thoughtful, sophisticated enterprise stories that provide readers deep local context and information,” says Johnston.

The Color of Public Money, an ongoing inquiry by the GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting, does just that. After poring over state data hidden behind a paywall, GBH journalists reported a 24% decrease in the value of state contract awards won by minority-owned firms over the past two decades.

“With a national conversation now focused on equity, opportunity and racism, these reports couldn’t have been more timely,” said Johnston.
The report had an immediate impact.

“After we exposed that, the governor announced a new policy to expand inequities in construction contracts,” says Paul Singer, GBH investigations editor. “But that was just a first step, there will be more findings.”

News coverage continues to expand across the Commonwealth, with GBH opening its new Worcester bureau this year and joining a first-ever collaboration with WBUR to deliver local news reporting for NPR’s Consider This podcast. And on television, GBH News’ Basic Black, the longest running program about communities of color, was awarded the prestigious Governor’s Award from the New England Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Producing hard-hitting, multiplatform journalism is GBH News’ path for the future, says Johnston.

“To me local, trusted news is a north star and how we should be defining ourselves.”