By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The Boston Globe ends its involvement with The Emancipator

For some time now, Boston Globe insiders have known that the Globe opinion section was going to cease co-publishing The Emancipator, a digital publication on racial justice. Now the Globe is making it official: Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research will continue to publish The Emancipator without the Globe’s involvement.

The following message to Globe staff members, from chief executive Linda Henry and editorial page editor Jim Dao, went out a little while ago. It was provided to me by a trusted source.

Hi team,

In March 2021, we embarked on an ambitious new media collaboration with Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research to build and launch The Emancipator, a non-profit, solutions-focused multimedia newsroom that would help drive the national conversation on racial justice and equity with deep journalism grounded in current research

The partnership between Globe Opinion and BU was designed to draw from the strengths of our two institutions, each of us committing two years of time, expertise, and resources to help lay the groundwork from which The Emancipator would grow. This helped the initiative to launch quickly, providing essential startup resources so that the editorial team could focus on incubating ideas and pursuing ambitious projects during critical moments in the national discourse on race.

While many non-profit newsrooms don’t make it, The Emancipator has thrived as its journalism and mission has resonated with local and national audiences. They have published hundreds of original pieces and welcomed thousands of readers online and at events, including a community celebration for Juneteenth in Boston and with prominent members of Congress, both virtual and live in Washington, D.C. They have cultivated a strong and dedicated newsletter following. Their thoughtful explainer videos have been shared widely across social media.

Having successfully completed our two-year partnership with BU in getting this newsroom launched, The Emancipator will transition to be fully integrated at Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research starting this week. The move to BU will streamline its operations and fundraising efforts and will unite the editorial team under one organization. During the transition, we will continue to publish The Emancipator on Globe.com.

The Emancipator’s Globe-based employees will be carrying forward with their roles as part of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research.

Amber Payne, co-editor in chief, will transition into the role of Publisher and GM, shifting to focus on strategic operations and development. She will lead the search for The Emancipator’s next editor in chief. It has been inspiring to witness her leadership and creative vision and we wish her continued success in her new role.

Kimberly Atkins Stohr, who anchored the editorial team for The Emancipator and helped launch its newsletter, Unbound, will be dedicating 100% of her time to Globe Opinion. We congratulate her for the incredible work she produced with The Emancipator, particularly her powerful racial wealth gap series, and we look forward to seeing her column more frequently in the Globe.

We are proud of the role that The Boston Globe has played in launching and growing this innovative newsroom, and will continue to support their solutions-focused journalism and research. We expect to continue highlighting their work through op-eds and to serve as a media partner for future events.

So many of our colleagues across the company helped to launch this initiative, and we want to acknowledge and congratulate them on the success of The Emancipator.

  • Our Globe Opinion team provided support across the board, from editorial guidance, digital production, design, and operations. A special thanks to Marjorie PritchardKimberly Atkins StohrAbbi MathesonHeather Hopp-BruceAbi Canina, and former editorial page editor, Bina Venkataraman, who conceptualized and helped launch The Emancipator’s early framework and design.
  • Our IT, engineering, product and development teams helped build The Emancipator’s website and integrated their editorial teams on our publishing system, providing front and backend technical support. A special thanks to Abraham Doris-DownTodd DukartBriana BoyingtonLynda Finley and their teams.
  • Our legal, finance, and HR teams have supported the initiative from its earliest days, ensuring administrative and operational support to structure the team, onboard new employees, and manage resources and expenses. To Dan KrockmalnicKatie LazaresDhiraj NayarChris ZeienVinne FerlisiAlan Li – thank you.
  • Our marketing and creative teams have promoted The Emancipator brand across brands and our newsletters with unique print and digital ad campaigns. Thank you to Peggy ByrdErin Maghran and their team for supporting this initiative within the BGM family of products.
  • Our communications and PR teams developed strategies for announcing and launching editorial initiatives, securing interviews with national press. Together with our newsletter, social and audience engagement teams, we helped grow a tremendous following for The Emancipator’s work across multimedia channels. Thank you to Heidi FloodDevin SmithLaDonna LaGuerre and their teams for their support.
  • Our ad sales and events team helped secure one of The Emancipator’s first major event sponsors and has been working to provide the team with guidance to continue growing its sponsor networks. Huge thank you to Kayvan SalmanpourErin KimballKazi AhmedErika Hale and their teams.
  • The Globe’s newsroom has been incredibly supportive in providing access to its resources from photo to video to publishing support and more. Our journalists have championed The Emancipator’s work within their own initiatives, including A Beautiful Resistance and Black News Hour. Thank you to Jeneé Osterheldt for providing counsel and ideation and to Jason Tuohey, our homepage team, and so many across the newsroom for your ongoing support.

We are grateful to our partners at Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research for incubating this project with us. Congratulations to everyone involved in this impactful new initiative, and we look forward to seeing The Emancipator continue to grow.

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1 Comment

  1. Joe and Terri Heisler

    Yes, but what does it all mean Dan … strictly a business decision, or something more?

    Joe Heisler ________________________________

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