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RHODE MAP

Meet the Globe’s new Rhode Island editor

The Globe is investing in Rhode Island. Here’s why Rhode Map readers should, too.

The Boston Globe is investing in Rhode Island. Keep up with the news on Twitter: @Globe_RI
The Boston Globe is investing in Rhode Island. Keep up with the news on Twitter: @Globe_RIvia Twitter/Via Twitter

If you have friends or relatives who would like their own free copy of this daily briefing about Rhode Island, tell them they can sign up here.

LEADING OFF

Happy Monday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and DeAndre Hopkins' catch last night was the highlight of my weekend. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 41,529 confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, after adding 710 new cases. The most recent overall daily test-positive rate was 5.2 percent, and the first-time positive rate was 26.2 percent. The state announced four more deaths, bringing the total to 1,254. There were 250 people in the hospital. 

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When we launched the Globe’s Rhode Island bureau nearly 18 months ago, we were excited to be entering what journalist Elliot Jaspin called a theme park for journalists. Little did we know that we’d be tracking a global pandemic that has disrupted every facet of life. Now, we’re excited to be launching the next phase of our Rhode Island expansion with a new editor, Lylah M. Alphonse. Lylah’s a Globe veteran who has also worked at Yahoo and U.S. News & World Report, and we’re thrilled to have her. You can e-mail her here (write nice things, please), and here’s a quick Q&A to get to know her.

Q: You’ve had a lot of really cool jobs in media. How did we trick you into becoming the Rhode Island editor?  

Lylah Alphonse, Editor, The Boston Globe Rhode Island
Lylah Alphonse, Editor, The Boston Globe Rhode IslandMichael Saunders

Alphonse: It wasn’t a trick! I lucked out. I “grew up” as a journalist at the Globe -- I started out as a copy editor in Living/Arts in 1994, spent a few years as the Assistant National News editor and a few more in the Sunday Magazine, with a stint in a hybrid editing/IT role that gave me an opportunity to learn about every department in the newsroom as well as advertising. I did a lot of writing while I was there, and had some incredible mentors. I left in 2010 to immerse myself in digital-first journalism at Yahoo and U.S. News & World Report before returning to the Globe in October of this year. Becoming the Rhode Island editor feels like a homecoming. I get to take the skills I’ve developed and honed over the last 10 years and do what I love at a company I love. I feel incredibly lucky and happy to be back.  

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Q: What’s your goal for Rhode Island coverage over the next five years? 

Alphonse: The fact that we’re talking about five-year goals is important -- we’re really dedicated to what we’re doing here. We’re not reporting on Rhode Island from Boston, we’re embedded in Rhode Island and our reporters are part of the communities we cover. You, Ed, and Amanda have pulled together truly excellent in-depth and investigative stories in the short time we’ve been up and running. Rhode Map is already essential reading for thousands of people. In five years, I want Globe Rhode Island to be a go-to source for all things Rhode Island. I want us to be part of the fabric of the communities in the Ocean State, the same way The Boston Globe is for communities across Massachusetts.  

Q: Word on the street is that we’re investing in Rhode Island. A lot. Can you share any juicy details? 

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Alphonse: This is where I’m supposed to be coy, right? I’m really bad at being coy, especially when I’m excited about something. And I’m truly excited about the things we’ve got in the works. I’ve been in journalism for 30 years and it’s rare, especially in the current media environment, to have a media company tell you to experiment, innovate, and invest and to actually give you the resources with which to do so. But that’s what the Globe is doing. We’re hiring a few more team members for the bureau, we’re expanding into new beats, and we’re experimenting with some innovative new products, events, and ideas. Stay tuned: https://www.bostonglobe.com/RhodeIsland

Q: We want (and need) people to subscribe to the Globe. What’s your pitch to Rhode Map readers? 

Alphonse: Rhode Island is an incredible news state. There’s a ton of news to cover, there are lots of dedicated news outlets, and readers in Rhode Island are really media-savvy -- they’re used to staying informed about what’s going on in their communities. But, like in so many other places around the country, local news has been hollowed out in recent years. Blame it on budget cuts, the rise of infotainment, the internet, the economy… the bottom line is that important issues in Rhode Island aren’t getting the attention or the in-depth reporting they deserve, and Rhode Islanders aren’t getting all of the coverage they need. Globe Rhode Island is focused on filling those gaps, and when you subscribe you also get all of the Globe’s other stellar coverage as part of the bundle. It’s easy to assume that the Boston Globe is only about Boston. It’s not. It’s packed with interesting articles and projects from award-winning journalists, and it brings all of that right to your door and screen. A great story transcends location. Rhode Island is full of great stories. Your subscriptions keep that coverage coming. 

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Lylah’s right (and not just because she’s the boss). If you haven’t yet subscribed to the Globe, we have a really great deal going right now. You can sign up here.

THE GLOBE IN RHODE ISLAND

⚓ My colleague Amanda Milkovits has an important deep dive on the Providence External Review Authority, the police oversight board whose members are outraged that its director released video footage from a pending criminal case against an officer. Read more.

⚓ As the state continues to break records for new COVID-19 cases, Ed Fitzpatrick found that Rhode Islanders have to wait four or more days to get tested due to high demand. Read more.

⚓ This week’s Ocean State Innovators Q&A is with Carlos Ventura Jr., CEO of Feast & Fettle, a gourmet meal delivery service based in East Providence. E-mail Ed if you have someone he should talk to for his weekly interview. Read more.

⚓ In an opinion piece for the Globe, Mary Ann Sorrentino writes that Republican state Representative-elect Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung has a chance to be a force at the State House. Read more

⚓ The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and its beleaguered Taunton casino were dealt another blow on Friday when tribe Chairman Cedric Cromwell and David DeQuattro, a R.I. architect with nearly $5 million in contracts connected to the tribe, were arrested by FBI agents on bribery and other charges. Read more.

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⚓ Media news: Walt Buteau, a veteran investigative reporter at Channel 12, is making a big jump to WFLA-TV in Tampa, Florida, beginning in January. Providence Journal executive editor Alan Rosenberg announced that he is retiring on Dec. 1.

MORE ON BOSTONGLOBE.COM

 Health I: Breaking news from Moderna: Early data from the company’s COVID-19 vaccine shows it is 94.5 percent effective. Read more.

⚓ Health II: Speaking of the vaccine, my colleague Kay Lazar looks at who will be first in line to receive the shots and how Massachusetts is planning to persuade communities that are deeply mistrustful of vaccines and the health care system to step forward. Read more.

⚓ Education: The pandemic has changed almost every facet of life, and teaching is no exception. Read more.

⚓ Politics: Democrats may have won the presidency, but Liz Goodwin writes that a party that was stitched together by its fear and dislike of President Trump is already starting to strain at the seams now that they’ve defeated him. Read more

⚓ Sports: The NBA draft is on Wednesday, and the Globe’s Gary Washburn explains that it’s going to be as unpredictable as ever. Read more.

WHAT’S ON TAP TODAY

Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ The Providence External Review Authority is holding a virtual meeting at 5 p.m. to discuss potential disciplinary action against its executive director Jose Batista.

⚓ Boston University professor and author Katherine Einstein Levine will discuss the politics of housing at 5:30 p.m. during a virtual session for the Providence Preservation Society’s 2020 Symposium.

⚓ Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) and the Brown University School of Public Health are releasing the 2020 Rhode Island Life Index during a virtual event at 10 a.m.

⚓ Do you ❤ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.Please tell your friends about Rhode Map! They can sign up here. The Globe has other e-mail newsletters on topics ranging from breaking news alerts to sports, politics, business, and entertainment -- check them out.


Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.