After four years operating within the WGBH newsroom, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) has joined WGBH News, effective July 9, 2019.
Founded in 2009 by journalists Joe Bergantino and Maggie Mulvihill, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting is an academic center founded at Boston University that seeks to expose injustice and hold power accountable through investigative reporting and by training emerging journalists. The joining together of the two organizations follows more than four years of close collaboration, producing stories that changed public policy and earned numerous awards, including a recent National Edward R. Murrow Award for best Investigative Series in the large market radio category.
“Journalism is at the heart of our mission at WGBH, and is critical to the health of our democracy,” said Jon Abbott, president and CEO of WGBH. “From our flagship investigative journalism program FRONTLINE to the work of WGBH News, we strive to shine a spotlight on the stories that need to be told. NECIR has always shared this mission and we are excited to officially welcome them to the WGBH family.”
Over the next year, WGBH plans to continue to grow the number of investigative reporters working with WGBH News Investigations Editor Paul Singer. NECIR’s 10-year-old story archive will also be transferred to WGBH as part of the agreement.
“Our audience listens to WGBH News as a trusted source for stories that go deeper than the headlines. Formalizing the relationship with NECIR shows that we are committed to investing in investigative reporting and sharing it across all our platforms,” said Phil Redo, General Manager for WGBH Radio and Local News. “Over the years, we’ve worked closely to deliver some truly impactful stories. I look forward to continuing this effort.”
Some of these recent stories include Out of the Shadows, a series on children dying in the state foster care system that lead to an overhaul of foster care rules, and Jailhouse Suicides, a series exploring the epidemic of suicides in prisons across the state, leading to reforms that appear to have significantly reduced the number of inmates taking their own lives.
The Shackles That Remain, a series exploring how a wrongfully-convicted man released from prison after 38 years tries to rebuild his life, helped lead to a million-dollar compensation decision and new legislation to help others wrongfully imprisoned after release. This year, the series won the coveted Sigma Delta Chi (SDX) Award for Public Service in Radio Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Series from the Radio Television Digital News Association and the 2019 Gabriel Award for Narrative Series Storytelling (radio) presented by the Catholic Broadcasters Association.
Boston University will continue to sponsor the popular Summer Journalism Institute under its name for high school students, a program that has reached hundreds of students over the past 10 years. Going forward, the university will work closely with WGBH to create a new training program for students throughout WGBH’s radio, television and education departments.
“This is a perfect scenario for NECIR, ensuring their work in investigative journalism will continue,” said Tom Fiedler, dean of BU’s College of Communication. “At the same time, it offers a greater number of learning opportunities for our students, exposing them to award-winning journalism at one of the most trusted platforms in the city. It’s truly a win for all involved.”
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.
WGBH is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of digital content and programs for public radio through PRI/PRX, including The World and Innovation Hub; a leader in educational multimedia with PBS LearningMedia™ providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content; and a pioneer in services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.