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

Tag: Anica Butler

The Globe announces expanded regional coverage of Greater Boston

The Boston Globe is expanding its coverage of the Boston suburbs, adding the inner belt, the North and South Shores and MetroWest to Rhode Island and New Hampshire, where it has set up bureaus during the past few years.

The staffing is minimal enough that the Globe won’t be able to provide granular reporting in each of the many dozens of cities and towns in Greater Boston — although it is promising substantially more coverage of Cambridge and Somerville. But there are strong independent local news outlets in many suburban communities, and I expect that the Globe will be keeping an eye on them for story ideas. And here’s a thought: Perhaps the Globe could work with those outlets as well. In any event, more is more, and more is better than less. I’ve already signed up for the newsletter.

What follows is an email to the newsroom from editor Nancy Barnes and Anica Butler, the deputy managing editor for local news. Nothing coy about where I got it this time — it came directly from the Globe’s PR operation.

Hi all —

We are pleased to announce that we are launching a regional news team to bolster our coverage of news outside of Boston’s city limits, with the goal of meeting our existing readers where many of them are and attracting new eyes from the many surrounding communities.

Think ambitious enterprise and accountability journalism with statewide appeal, accompanied by creative digital storytelling, bolstered by audience engagement. We’ll also have a newsletter dedicated to our regional stories. Sign up here to get the first edition in your inbox.

Our expanded coverage will reflect the broad diversity in cities and towns outside of Boston, from the Gateway cities to the wealthy western suburbs to the growing Black middle class in Randolph and Stoughton to the new immigrants making their homes in Greater Boston. We will also be making Cambridge and Somerville — Camberville if you will — a beat of its own, reflecting the importance of these cities on Boston’s doorstep.

(And if you’ve already noticed an uptick in stories from outside of Boston this summer, it’s because our team has already gotten a start!)

Here’s the team:

Roy Greene, a deputy metro editor, will bring his great journalistic instincts and creative story ideas to lead this new team. Roy, who has been at the Globe for more than 20 years and has worked on past local news initiatives, lives in East Cambridge.

Assisting Roy in leading the team will be Steve Annear, one of our most creative and enterprising journalists, with an unparalleled ability to put his finger on the pulse of the region and determine which storylines are percolating online. Steve, who lives in Somerville, will edit our Cambridge and Somerville coverage and will lead the team’s digital efforts, including the newsletter.

Here are the reporters:

Spencer Buell, who has a knack for identifying and crafting viral stories (the Cop Slide!), will cover Cambridge and Somerville.

Billy Baker, who most recently showcased his considerable writing chops on the outdoors beat, will cover the North Shore.

John Hilliard, an indefatigable news hound with sources galore, will continue his coverage of the metro west and gateway cities. John always seems to land in the right place when a big story breaks.

Sarah Ryley, a data journalism expert, will cover the South Shore and will also help with metro west.

Roy and Steve will also work with reporters and editors across the newsroom whose beats are unfolding outside the city. So expect plenty of collaboration. And please feel free to send story ideas their way as the team gets going!

Nancy & Anica

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Boston Globe promotes two minority editors to masthead positions

Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory today announced two promotions. In a memo to the staff, McGrory said that Ideas section editor Anica Butler has been named the deputy managing editor for local news, replacing Felice Belman, who recently departed for The New York Times. City editor Nestor Ramos will receive a new title — senior assistant managing editor for local news.

Both Butler’s and Ramos’ names will appear on the masthead, which represents a step forward for a paper seeking to become more diverse. Butler is the first Black woman and Ramos the first Latino to ascend to news-side* masthead positions. Years ago, Greg Moore, who’s African American, was the Globe’s managing editor (the No. 3 position in the newsroom at that time), but he left for The Denver Post in 2002.

A trusted source provided me with McGrory’s memo a little while ago. The full text follows.


I’m beyond delighted to share a pair of key personnel announcements.

First, Anica Butler will take over as the Globe’s new deputy managing editor for local news, better known as the metro editor, among the most pivotal roles in any newsroom. She’s been preparing for this job for many years, and preparing extraordinarily well. Her nearly nine years at the Globe have been marked by seismic stories, and Anica always seems to be in the throes of them. She managed, morning to night, our coverage of the Aaron Hernandez, Tsarnaev, and Whitey Bulger trials, three epic events in this city’s history. She brought to all of them a digital, in-the-moment mindset that in many ways laid the groundwork for how we’ve approached big, unfolding stories ever since. In a somewhat gaudy display of her broad range, she then went on to edit a key installment in our 2017 series on the state’s woefully inadequate mental health system, a project that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting.

Anica served a relatively short stint as Felice Belman’s main deputy on the metro desk, and as such, was a key bridge between metro and the digital world, organizing the day in the early morning, dispatching reporters, keying in on the most important journalism that we would focus on that cycle. She was pulled away by the siren song of the Nieman fellowship at Harvard University. When she returned, Anica took over the Ideas section, making it ever more compelling as it took on newsier subjects and brought far greater diversity in voices.

I certainly don’t have to tell anyone that Anica is a wonderful colleague. She’s also the brand new mother of a ten-week-old daughter. As has often been said, when you want to get something done, ask a busy person. Anica will start in this new role when her family leave ends on September 8.

Nestor Ramos, who has proven himself invaluable in his relatively new role as deputy metro editor, better known as the city editor, will take on the enhanced title of senior assistant managing editor for local news, a masthead position. This is a straight-up acknowledgement of his enormous impact on the room and our coverage. Given the coronavirus, given the economic collapse, remote work, social justice, racial injustice, he has been a pivotal leader in what has basically been a decade’s worth of news crammed into the first seven-plus months of 2020. Back in December, when Jen, Jason, and I convinced a reluctant columnist to become an editor,  we knew we needed him at the figurative and literal center of our newsroom. We had no idea how much we needed him, or just how well Nestor would perform — with reporters, other editors, ideas, copy, hiring, you name it. On top of all this, Nestor was announced as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing this spring for his jaw-dropping story on how the climate crisis has ravaged Cape Cod. Nestor, too, is a hall-of-fame colleague in ways big and small, plus the father of two young daughters, ages 4 and 1. The promotion will take effect immediately, and Nestor will report to Anica, in what will be as formidable a duo as there is in this industry.

Please reach out and congratulate Anica and Nestor, and thank them for all they’re about to do.


*Correction: Added “news-side” to make it clear that there have been persons of color on the masthead from the opinion operation.

Correction No. 2: I’ve changed the headline to reflect the fact that Ramos does not identify as a person of color.

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