Plymouth Independent hires reporter Fred Thys

October 11, 2023 – Veteran public radio and online journalist Fred Thys is joining the staff of the Plymouth Independent as the nonprofit moves toward launching its free online news site later this year.

Thys will bring with him four decades of experience in documentaries, as a foreign correspondent, and as a reporter covering politics, higher education, and the economy at WBUR and VTDigger, where he currently works. VTDigger is a groundbreaking online news site that boasts that state’s largest newsroom.

Among the many stories Thys reported in more than 20 years at WBUR, the Boston National Public Radio station, he revealed that one of the 9/11 hijackers had breached security at Logan Airport before the day of the attacks. He also uncovered a pattern of abuse of health care providers at the largest health center in Roxbury. Thys says he is proudest of breaking the story that showed the federal government misled the Supreme Court in a case that established the State Secrets privilege. This Supreme Court decision allows federal officials to prevent certain evidence from being presented at trial.

“Fred’s deep experience, curiosity, and fresh perspective on Plymouth will be a huge asset for the Independent,” said editor Mark Pothier. “He’s eager to get out into the community to meet people and find some of the many stories that need to be told. On top of his impressive reporting resume, he’s also fluent in several languages, including Portuguese, which will help us to cover issues relevant to the town’s Brazilian community.”

During his impressive career, he has also worked for NPR in Washington, D.C., CNN, CBS, ABC, and NBC, where he was the network’s Mexico City bureau chief.

“We absolutely plan to take advantage of Fred’s wide range of skills for audio and visual stories,” Pothier added. “It’s a bonus that I believe will prove essential over time.”

Thys will join former Boston Globe investigative reporter Andrea Estes as the Independent’s second full time staff reporter. Once he’s on board, Thys can be reached at

“They’ll make for a powerful combination that shows we’re determined to build a sustainable site that will grow into the institution that Plymouth desperately needs and deserves,” said Pothier.

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