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April 9, 2019

WBJ's Welker named top New England reporter

Photo/WBJ WBJ News Editor Grant Welker

Grant Welker, the news editor for the Worcester Business Journal, has won the Master Reporter award from the New England Society of News Editors.

Welker is being honored for the entirety of his 13-year career, which includes reporting work at the Lowell Sun, the Herald News in Fall River and — as an intern — the Hartford Courant. Welker joined WBJ in February 2017. 

"I'm happy to count myself among so many talented journalists in newsrooms across the area who do such important work each day," Welker said. "Critical journalism is needed today as much as ever, and I take pride in playing my own small role in reporting on issues both crucial and fascinating for the public. I've been fortunate to report on meaningful stories here at the Worcester Business Journal and elsewhere, and I keep pressing forward every day o bring new stories to light for readers." 

Past recipients of the NESNE Master Reporter award include Jennette Barnes from The Standard-Times in New Bedford and Josh Kovner from The Hartford Courant. Welker was nominated in the non-daily newspaper category. 

Welker will receive the award in a May 2 ceremony at the offices of The Boston Globe. He and WBJ also are finalists for the NESNE Best Watchdog award for The Boardroom Gap investigative series about the lack of women in Central Mass. business leadership. The winner of that category will be announced at the May 2 ceremony. 

"Grant has been an inspiration to work with, and I can think of no other reporter more deserving of this award," WBJ Editor Brad Kane said. "He brings a necessary critical eye to the Central Massachusetts business community and couples his excellent researching skills with an authoritative writing style." 

Welker's other WBJ stories include his examination into Worcester's so-called renaissance, a series on immigrant business owners and on business tax breaks, his critical look at the economics of Worcester's deal with the Pawtucket Red Sox, the historic nature of Worcester's redevelopment efforts, and Atlantic Union's now-failed attempt to restart the college.

At the Lowell Sun, he wrote extensively about the power struggle behind the Market Basket leadership and a secret tax deal UMass Lowell had with the city. Among his work at the Herald News, he looked at a failing subsidiary of the Framingham retailer TJX Cos.

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