Ten Past and Present Massachusetts Media Members With Ties To Democratic Politics

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2023/08/25/ten-past-and-present-massachusetts-media-members-with-ties-to-democratic-politics/

There is more than a little overlap between the Democratic Party and the mainstream media in Massachusetts.

As NewBostonPost has previously reported, members of the media have donated to Democratic politicians.

But did you know that members of the mainstream media have worked for Democratic politicians, employees of Democratic politicians have worked in the mainstream media, and Democratic politicians themselves have worked in media?

Now, some of you might be saying, “What about NewBostonPost?”

Yes, it is true that (fondly remembered) former NewBostonPost reporter Evan Lips later became the communications director for the Massachusetts Republican Party.

But of course NewBostonPost is conservative, not the mainstream media. And you can find ten examples of that sort of thing on the Democratic side for every one instance on the Republican side. 

That said, here is a look at 10 instances of that overlap between the mainstream media and the Democratic Party in Massachusetts in recent years:


1.  WWLP Reporter Ellen Fleming

If you live in Western Massachusetts, you may have seen Ellen Fleming on television. That’s because she is the State House reporter for 22News, also known as WWLP. 

But did you know that she worked at the State House before working for WWLP?

She worked for state Senator John Keenan (D-Quincy) from 2015 to 2018 as a legislative aide and media director, according to her resume and bio on WWLP’s web site.

So she went from being the spokesman for a Democratic politician in his office to being on television.


2. Whitman-Hanson Express Editor Tracy Seeyle

While Seeyle edits and writes articles for a newspaper that covers two towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts, she is also a diehard Democratic activist.

She is on the board of a Pete Buttigieg-aligned political action committee called Build The Era — and she has quite an impressive resume of Democratic Party activism.

Here is part of her bio on the site:


Tracy has worked as a congressional district co-lead and campaign volunteer doing digital rapid response for Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential campaign. She was also a Digital Captain for the 2020 Biden/Harris campaign and volunteered with the Ossoff Campaign in 2021. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and master’s degree in journalism with a political science minor concentration from Boston University. She is also a member of Building Bridges for America, an organization founded by Buttigieg campaign volunteers in support of progressive grassroots campaigns, candidates, and causes and, additionally is a member of the Democratic Digital Coalition and an adjunct member of Barnstormers for America and Rally for Progress.   


And oh yeah, Seeyle was a legislative aide for then-state representative Mary Jane Simmons (D-Leominster), from 2001 to 2003, according to her LinkedIn page. Her affiliation with Democrats goes back decades.


3.  State Representative Josh Cutler (D-Pembroke) 

You know how Josh Cutler is a liberal who supports raising the gas tax and revoking born-alive protections for babies who survive abortion attempts?

Yeah, well, he worked in the media before becoming a state representative.

His family founded The Duxbury Clipper. He was the paper’s editor-in-chief from 1998 to 2007 and its publisher from 2007 to 2012, according to his LinkedIn.

Then, he got a new job in 2013:  state representative.

Funny how that works.


4.  Former Lowell Sun Reporter Jake Vitali

State Representative Rady Mom (D-Lowell) got a new legislative aide earlier this month.

Guess what he did for a living before working for a Democratic politician?

That’s right. He was a news reporter — in Lowell!

Vitali served as a reporter for The Lowell Sun from April 2021 to April 2022, and as a city editor of The Sentinel and Enterprise of Fitchburg from April 2022 to June 2023, according to his LinkedIn page.

And now he’s working for the Democrats directly rather than indirectly. 


5.  Former State House News Service Reporter Matt Murphy

Matt Murphy left his job at State House News Service, a wire service that covers Beacon Hill, earlier this year to join Governor Maura Healey’s administration as the chief of communications and legislative affairs for the state Executive Office for Administration & Finance.

Much of the mainstream media in Massachusetts is an extension of the Healey administration, so why not collect a paycheck from them directly?

Possibly, State House News Service wasn’t paying $148,977 a year


6.  Former State House News Service Reporter Cyndi Roy Gonzalez

This is not beat-up-on-State House News Service day. We like State House News Service.

But it’s hard not to notice certain … tendencies.

Many of its reporters go to work for other Massachusetts publications, but Gonzalez did not. After working as a reporter for State House News Service in 2004 and 2005, she bounced around in Democratic politics.

She served as the deputy press secretary for Deval Patrick’s successful 2006 campaign for governor, as his deputy press secretary in the governor’s office from 2007 to 2008, as the communications director of the state Executive Office for Administration and Finance from 2008 to 2010, as the assistant secretary for communications for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation from 2011 to 2015, and as communications director for then-Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey from 2015 to 2016, according to her LinkedIn page.

She is now executive director of a Boston area non-profit called Girls on the Run Greater Boston.


7.  Former Boston Herald Reporter Renee Algarin

The next time someone tries telling you The Boston Herald is conservative, ask that person to name all the Herald alumni who have ended up working in  politics for Democrats.

One is Renee Algarin, who served as a Herald reporter from 2006 to 2012, and now works for the Healey administration. She is the communications director at the Office of Grants and Research within the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, a role she has held since last September, according to State House News Service.

In between those jobs, she worked in communications for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office for four different DAs, most notably Rachael Rollins.


8. Former Fall River Herald News Reporter Peter Jasinski

Jasinski has something in common with Ellen Fleming.

He is the current communications director for state Senator John Keenan (D-Quincy), the same Democrat who employed Fleming.

Jasinski has been the communications director since June 2021. However, he previously worked as a news reporter. First, he was a reporter for The Sentinel and Enterprise of Fitchburg from 2015 to 2018. Then, he was a multimedia journalist for The Herald News in Fall River from 2019 to 2020, according to his LinkedIn page.


9.  Former GBH News Producer Antonio Caban

Caban has a diverse journalism background. He was a news producer for WHDH from 2013 to 2015, a State House News Service reporter from 2015 to 2017, and a GBH News producer from 2017 to 2019. But then, he left journalism.

Caban served as the deputy communications director for Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) from March 2019 to January 2023.

From GBH News to Karen Spilka. Was it much of an adjustment?

10. Former MassLive Managing Producer Scott Croteau

Croteau is a veteran journalist. He worked for The Telegram and Gazette from 2001 to 2015, and MassLive from 2015 to 2021, according to State House News Service. By the end of his tenure at MassLive, he was the managing producer for the publication’s Worcester County coverage.

So it’s no surprise that he is now the deputy communications director for Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. — a Democrat.


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