In the summer of 2019, the Boston Globe surprised the industry by launching an initiative just 53 miles down the I-95 corridor in neighboring Providence, Rhode Island. When most local news operations were aggressively downsizing, the Globe had already shown an appetite for expansion by hiring more journalists and launching new verticals covering marijuana, health, life sciences and even the Catholic Church.
However, this expansion placed them in the backyard of one of the nation's most respected news outlets: The Providence Journal, which in its heyday had multiple bureaus with hundreds of journalists and a lengthy list of Pulitzers and Peabodys for their famous investigative reporting. Today, due to subscriber and advertising revenue declines and Gannett corporate downsizing, there are less than thirty full-time reporters at the ProJo.
Perhaps that is one of the reasons that The Boston Globe is increasing its commitment to their Providence bureau that contributes daily to their online vertical dedicated to the Ocean State, called "Globe Rhode Island." The team includes ProJo veterans Maria Caporizzo, Edward Fitzpatrick, Amanda Milkovitz and Brian Amaral, Providence Business News alumna Alexa Gagosz, former WPRI-TV reporter Dan McGowan, and digital and audience engagement editor Carlos Munoz, who moved to Rhode Island from Florida to join the team. Together, they cover politics, business, health, education, the economy, the arts, and more, along with a popular weekly Podcast called "Rhode Island Report" and a new RI Food & Dining section. Plus, with Gannett now cutting back on providing editorial content throughout the company, Globe Rhode Island has also expanded its Commentary platform.
The Globe has already had a strong impact on the local media landscape: subscriptions to the digital product and its email newsletters are growing rapidly, and the Globe Rhode Island team recently won 27 reporting awards from the Rhode Island Press Association, sweeping the Investigative and Health Care reporting categories.
In this 142nd episode of E&P Reports, meet the Boston Globe Rhode Island's editor, Lylah M. Alphonse, and one of the original bureau hires, Dan McGowan, who produces their daily “Rhode Map” newsletter. They will talk about the Globe's growing southward expansion and their commitment to providing statewide news content. Also appearing is Michelle Micone, the Boston Globe’s Vice President, Innovation and Strategic Initiatives, who will speak to the Globe’s overall strategy in expanding into new content areas and neighboring markets.
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