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Phillip Martin
Phillip W.D. Martin, Sr Reporter for WGBH Radio News in Boston. I am also Executive Producer for Lifted Veils Productions, a non-profit journalism organization dedicated to exploring issues that divide (and unite) society. Currently he is heading up The Color Initiative, a BBC/WGBH radio-journalism project broadcast on PRI's "The WORLD".
Phillip was a Supervising Senior Editor for National Public Radio and former NPR Race Relations Correspondent. He was among a group of senior producers responsible for creating PRI's The World radio program in 1995 (BBC, WGBH, PRI). He has written for several publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post Outlook Section, Nieman Reports, Japan Times Weekly and the Boston Globe. He studied international relations and international law at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and human rights law at Harvard University Law School and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 1998.

Entries by Phillip Martin

How to Rationalize the Deaths of Unarmed Black Men at the Hands of Police: It's the Narrative, Stupid

(1) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 6:34 PM

A sign and pin on the back of a demonstrator during a protest against the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 13, 2014 (credit: Reuters)

The news accounts in recent weeks are tragically similar, from Los...

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Reconciling Maya Angelou's Legacy With Her Support of Clarence Thomas

(38) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 4:01 PM

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...

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The Day the Symphony Broke the News That Kennedy Is Dead

(1) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 7:37 AM

News of President John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination aired live on radio and television around the world moments after it happened. But in Boston on November 22, 1963, hundreds of people learned about the tragedy -- not directly from media -- but from the conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra....

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18 Hours: Boston Marathon Bombing Manhunt Offers Lessons for Police

(2) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 1:50 PM


When explosions rocked the Boston Marathon finish line six months ago this month, it was hard for many in this area to imagine the world would ever be the same. Since then, WGBH has been taking a closer look at the events of...

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18 Hours: How Did Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Elude Police During Marathon Bombing Manhunt

(5) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 2:37 PM


As part of an ongoing series, WGBH News explores the unanswered questions that surround the massive manhunt in Watertown, Massachusetts in April and the ultimate capture of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. This is the third story of...

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18 Hours: 'Self-Deployment' May Have Caused Confusion During Boston Marathon Bombing Manhunt

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 4:16 PM

When explosions rocked the Boston Marathon finish line six months ago this month, it was hard for many in the area to imagine the world would ever be the same. Since then, WGBH News has been taking a closer look...

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18 Hours: Lingering Questions Surround Boston Marathon Watertown Shootout

(2) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 9:50 AM

When explosions rocked the Boston Marathon finish line six months ago this month, it was hard for many in this area to imagine the world would ever be the same. Since then, WGBH News has been taking a closer look...

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Underground Trade Part Seven: Why Human Trafficking is Called Modern Day Slavery

(4) Comments | Posted October 1, 2013 | 12:04 PM


If you think slavery ended in 1865 with passage of the 13th Amendment, think again.
2013-03-26-pit_image.jpg credit, Slavery By Another Name

Human traffickers have picked up where slavery, brutal racial-based penal laws, sharecropping and Jim...

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Progressives vs. Conservatives: The War over Catholic Doctrine

(24) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 2:45 PM

Whoever succeeds Pope Benedict faces challenges that will impact Catholics everywhere, but will the choice have any impact on Catholic doctrine, which many believe is suspended somewhere between the Council of Trent counter-reformation and Vatican II.
2013-03-12-CATHOLIC.jpg Photo

I surveyed the Boston...

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Underground Trade Part Six: The Shame (of Human Trafficking)

(2) Comments | Posted March 4, 2013 | 2:48 PM


Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH


"Shame should be reserved for the things we choose to do, not the circumstances that life puts on us." --Ann Pritchard,author of Bel Canto--
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Underground Trade Part Five: Taken into China (Human Trafficking)

(1) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 3:21 PM



Credit Phillip Martin / WGBH
Qui and Phong on the road north of Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnam is losing its children.

The numbers...

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Underground Trade Part Four: One Town in Thailand (and human trafficking)

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2013 | 11:35 AM



It was twilight, and I didn't know what to expect as I arrived by car to Pattaya, Thailand.
The famous walking street in Pattaya where tourists worldwide solicit...

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Underground Trade Part Three: The Business of Trafficking

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2013 | 2:21 PM


Why would someone fly 8,500 miles and spend $4,000 dollars to pony up to a bar in Pattaya, Thailand?

"If they go into Pattaya, it's not because Pattaya has nice beaches," said Somerville, MA., Police Chief Thomas Pasquarello. "It's because it has sex tourism."

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Underground Trade Part Two: The Route Through Queens

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 7:43 AM


Without ever knowing it, you've driven the same routes, passed the same landmarks and used the same rest stops as today's human trafficking networks that operate from New York to New England.

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Underground Trade, Part One: Hiding in Plain Sight

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 12:52 PM


On a warm October night last year, the small, affluent town of Wellesley, Mass., has better things to think about than human trafficking: the farmer's market, a support group at the congregational church, or a Wellesley Historical Society lecture on the War of 1812....

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Occupy's Missed Opportunity to Impact Election 2012

(7) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 2:45 PM

When the police moved into Zuccotti Park in New York and Dewey Square in Boston last year tearing down tarps and tents many activists expressed optimism that they would still influence national elections 11 months away. Don Trementozzi, president of the Communications Workers Union in Boston, said at the time...

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Irony: Mitt Romney Profited From the Auto Bailout That He Opposed

(73) Comments | Posted September 17, 2012 | 1:06 PM

A unifying theme at the Democratic National Convention was Mitt Romney's opposition to the auto bailout. But did Mr. Romney somehow cash in on the very auto rescue that he publicly opposed under the headline Let Detroit Go Bankrupt? Yes, and here's how:

In the Fall of...

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Remaking Occupy's Image: What Would Don Draper Do?

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2011 | 2:12 PM

The Occupy Movement has taken a beating in the press. While it is credited with changing the nation's obsession from debts and deficits to income inequality, the protesters -- for months camped out in tents -- have found their image in desperate need of repair. For a fix, they might...

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DJ Henry and the Training of Police, Part Four

(1) Comments | Posted November 8, 2011 | 1:21 AM

BOSTON -- In February 2011, when a New York grand jury declined to indict anyone involved in the shooting death of DJ Henry, Henry's family called for a federal investigation.


I telephoned Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez...

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DJ Henry and the Training of Police Part Three

(2) Comments | Posted November 2, 2011 | 12:54 AM

BOSTON -- Some law enforcement experts say that police forces around the country -- from Westchester County, NY, where DJ Henry was killed, to Los Angeles, which has had its own share of questionable police shootings over the years -- need to train officers to de-escalate conflicts and increase sensitivity...

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