The latest announcements and updates from WBUR

WBUR Poll: Coakley Has Early Advantage in Governor’s Race

Attorney General Martha Coakley greets patrons at Morin's Diner, in Attleboro, Mass., on Sept. 16, 2013, the day she officially launched her campaign for governor. (Steven Senne/AP)

Attorney General Martha Coakley greets patrons at Morin’s Diner, in Attleboro, Mass., on Sept. 16, 2013, the day she officially launched her campaign for governor. (Steven Senne/AP)

A new WBUR Poll finds Massachusetts gubernatorial hopeful, Democrat Martha Coakley, enjoying an early 39-29 lead over Republican front-runner Charlie Baker. She is the only Democrat leading Baker in the crowded 2014 field, according to a survey of 504 registered voters, conducted by the non-partisan The MassINC Polling Group for WBUR from January 16-19. The remaining Democratic candidates for governor in the 2014 Massachusetts general election trail Baker between 10 and 23 points.

Coakley ranked as the best known candidate at this early stage, and the best liked. She garnered broad favorables and high name recognition, with 53% of the survey participants holding a favorable view of her, compared to 28% unfavorable. Voters are also starting to see Baker favorably, after he disappeared from voters’ minds for several years after his last run. Of the survey respondents, 32% expressed a favorable view of Baker compared to only 14% with an unfavorable view.

“For both Baker and Coakley, their early numbers look good,” said Steve Koczela, president, The MassINC Polling Group. “The question is, as voters tune in and pay closer attention, will they like these candidates’ new messages or will they remember what they didn’t like about them the last time around?”

Both Coakley (2010 Senate) and Baker (2010 Governor) have previously been their party’s nominee for statewide office. Among the other candidates, Democrat Steve Grossman garnered a 22% favorable viewpoint, while all others declared in the race at this point, appear to have barely dented the public consciousness.

According to Koczela’s analysis, Coakley’s lead is built on strong support from women voters, particularly those over age 50. Women have played a pivotal role in recent statewide elections, swinging against Martha Coakley in her matchup with Scott Brown in the 2010 election for US Senate. Overall, the poll shows Coakley with a 17-point edge over Baker among women, far better than her 3-point margin among women in 2010.

“With other Democratic contenders waiting in the wings, the pressure is higher on Martha Coakley to maintain her strong favorables to keep her supporters from looking around for other candidates,” said Koczela.

The poll also explored opinions surrounding approval and performance ratings for current Governor Deval Patrick and the proposed casino developments in the state. For the complete WBUR Poll, including topline findings and crosstab results, see the WBUR story page. 

About the WBUR Poll: Results are based on a survey of 504 likely voters in the 2014 general election in Massachusetts. The poll was conducted January 16-19, 2014. Live telephone interviews were conducted via both landline and cell phone, using conventional registration-based sampling procedures. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 4.4 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence. The poll was sponsored by WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station and conducted by MassINC Polling Group.

Download The New WBUR iPhone App

We know listening to WBUR is important to you, no matter where you are—in your car or kitchen, on your laptop, tablet or phone. That’s why WBUR has completely redesigned our iPhone app, now available for free here or from the App Store.

Updated WBUR iPhone AppThe new WBUR app has a refreshed, streamlined design and simple navigation that allows for quicker access to content.

“We listened to user feedback and reviewed data about how best to improve our old iPhone app and created an entirely new version,” said John Davidow, executive editor, wbur.org who oversees all digital projects. “This newly engineered app puts WBUR at your fingertips with a design that enhances your listening experience. It also makes it easy to quickly get the latest news headlines and share stories with friends.”

WBUR’s investment in this app demonstrates the station’s commitment to digital distribution of its content as more listeners use online streaming and on-demand podcasts to consume WBUR and NPR’s stories and programs. The app’s audio player has been updated to improve listening to live streams, with greater consistency and stability. The new WBUR app uses the most reliable stream delivery format for iOS today.

Given its live and on demand listening capabilities, the new WBUR app is the most convenient way to stream WBUR on any of your iOS devices.

“WBUR has one foot firmly rooted in the present values of public radio, and the other in the future of digital media,” said WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz. “As we face this radically transforming landscape, WBUR remains committed to our digital audience on the web, on phones and tablets, and in connected cars.”

The Animalist Launches On WBUR

The Animalist, a new multimedia vertical on wbur.org, covers all animal issues — those in the wild and the ones closer to home, with an emphasis on the connection between humans and other animals.

The Animalist

Reporter Vicki Croke has been covering pets and wildlife for more than two decades, in newspapers, books and magazines, and on TV. She has tracked fossa in Madagascar, polar bears in the Arctic Circle, and Tasmanian devils in, of course, Tasmania.

Producer Christen Goguen is an award-winning graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, focusing on videography and graphic design. Her passion is natural history, and she has collaborated on a number of animal segments airing on television.

Vicki Croke and Christen Goguen.

Vicki Croke and Christen Goguen.

Together with WBUR producer George Hicks, they won a 2013 Edward R. Murrow Award for their piece about “toys for elephants,” which aired on WBUR and was one of wbur.org’s most popular posts for the year. It’s a fine example of what you’ll be seeing — and hearing – on The Animalist, at theanimalist.wbur.org, which kicks off with a post about the tiny saw-whet owl and its remarkable migration.

On Twitter, follow @TheAnimalist.

Chris Lydon’s “Open Source” Debuts

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Chris Lydon’s return to radio begins Thursday, January, 2 with a program about an elementary school in Brighton, Mass. where every child makes music for three and a half hours a day. The driving idea, spreading worldwide from Venezuela, is that every child wants to play an instrument and can. There’s another way to teach music and maybe a new way to organize a school.

Open Source with Christopher Lydon will be live on 90.9 WBUR and livestreamed on wbur.org Thursday nights at 9 p.m., rebroadcast at 2 p.m. on Sundays. The website, radioopensource.org, will have additional podcasts and prose and ways for you to be part of the project.

If there’s a theme or premise to the new show, it’s that Boston has become (dare we say?) a Hub of the Universe, a radiant center of research and writing and strong gab around ideas that touch the world. Read more about the direction of the show from our announcement on the Open Source website.

We’re on the lookout for flights of fancy, fresh interests, people and questions of all kinds and unconventional takes on what we’re all going through in 2014.

We hope you’ll tune in and be part of the conversation, helping us stretch the spectrum of things we should be talking about. If you have questions or ideas, please feel to reach out to us at radioopensource.org.

– Mary McGrath, producer, Open Source 

Shannon Dooling Joins WBUR as Morning Edition Field Producer

We are happy to announce that Shannon Dooling has joined WBUR as Morning Edition Field Producer.  She has worked at WBUR over the last 18 months as a freelance producer first at Radio Boston and recently in the newsroom working on Morning Edition.  She is a talented producer and skilled multimedia journalist.

A New Hampshire native, Shannon lives in the seacoast town of Hampton, NH.  She graduated summa cum laude from University of Massachusetts and earned her Master of Journalism degree from the University of British Columbia.  She was a Communications Officer for Citizens Energy and then Director of Resource Development at the United Way of the Greater Seacoast.  Shannon has worked on health care and education projects in the Dominican Republic and in Haiti.  She comes to WBUR with experience in public media, having freelanced as a reporter and producer for New Hampshire Public Radio.

WBUR to Create Ground-Breaking New Listening Experience with NPR

WBUR is joining forces with NPR and five other public radio stations across the country in a collaborative venture to build the most cohesive listening experience that exists for news, arts and culture, transforming public radio for the next generation.

Simulation of WBUR app on an iPhone

The new mobile app will combine on-demand local and national content from NPR, WBUR and member stations.

This collaborative project is being funded locally by WBUR which has committed to raise $400,000 in a matching grant program with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“This is another example of WBUR deepening its relationship with NPR, following closely on the heels of our partnership to expand WBUR’s Here & Now to two hours in collaboration with NPR.  We’re proud that Here & Now is carried on 372 stations nationwide as public radio’s midday news magazine program,” said Charlie Kravetz, general manager of WBUR.  “This new, ground-breaking mobile project demonstrates our shared commitment to reach listeners where they are today … and where they will be tomorrow, with the best spoken-word audio experience anywhere.”

As Boston’s NPR New Station, WBUR continues to work closely with NPR on other important public radio programs including On Point with Tom Ashbrook and Only A Game with Bill Littlefield which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

The station is well underway in its fundraising effort, already having raised more than $100,000. Among the donors in the Greater Boston area who have pledged financial support to this ambitious new listening project are Arthur and Judy Obermayer; Bob and Liz Pozen; and Bruce Hauben.

WBUR produces more news and programming content than any other member station in the country, making it a natural partner for a project that showcases mobile content.

According to eMarketer, 53% of the U.S. population uses internet radio today, and the Pew Research Center reports 50% of Americans cite the internet as a main news source. In light of these trends, WBUR has invested several million dollars in the WBUR iLab (major funding support from Biogen Idec), its innovation unit charged with exploring the transformation of the station from a radio-only to multiplatform news and information station, reaching listeners on-air, online and in-person. Recent iLab projects include a full-length ebook, Bulger on Trial, and a new series, Kind World. Other digital-first WBUR initiatives have included the development of popular online verticals at wbur.org: CommonHealth, Cognoscenti and The ARTery.

The new venture with NPR will further the station’s commitment to digital distribution of its content as more listeners use online streaming and on-demand podcasts to consume WBUR and NPR’s stories and programs.  The new listening project intends to combine local news from WBUR with national and international news from NPR, in addition to programs and segments from other public radio producers.

WBUR reaches 500,000 listeners in the Boston market and more than three million listeners nationally each week.  The station is home to the largest radio newsroom in New England.

Jolicoeur Wins Health Coverage Fellowship

jolicoeur_lynn_square-130x130WBUR producer Lynn Jolicoeur has received a 2014 Health Coverage Fellowship from  The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, one of just 12 awarded to medical journalists nationwide.

The Health Coverage Fellowship is designed to help the media improve its coverage of critical health care issues. The program will run for nine days, beginning April 25, at Babson College’s Center for Executive Education in Wellesley, Mass. It will focus on a series of pressing medical issues, from implementing health care reform to curbing costs, addressing mental illness, and redressing public health threats.

Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR’s All Things Considered. Before joining WBUR, she worked as a television news reporter and anchor for 18 yearsLynn has won numerous journalism awards, including a Boston/New England regional Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in News Reporting. She earned a journalism degree from Boston University.

Host Chris Lydon Returns to WBUR

WBUR announced today that Christopher Lydon, former host of the station’s program The Connection from 1994-2001, will return to WBUR in January 2014. WBUR will launch a new weekly, hour-long program titled Open Source with Christopher Lydon. It will air Thursdays from 9 p.m. – 10 p.m. in Boston, live on 90.9 FM and streaming at wbur.org, with an encore broadcast over the weekend.

“We’re thrilled to bring Chris back to WBUR. He’s a unique voice and captivating host who manages to be both highly accessible and highly intellectual,” said Charlie Kravetz, WBUR general manager. “Chris also has a keen understanding of the digital space and is an innovator in his own right, pioneering the creation of the nation’s first real podcasting effort through his Open Source website. We know Chris is going to be a great addition to our on-air and online platforms.”

Christopher Lydon

Christopher Lydon

Lydon will be teamed with his long-time Connection senior producer Mary McGrath to create the new program for WBUR. Most recently, they were collaborators on Radio Open Source, a weekly podcast about the arts, ideas and politics at www.radioopensource.org

“We’re bringing Open Source back to our first radio home, WBUR in Boston,” said Lydon. “Drawing on our roots in Boston and our interest in the wider world, we’ll be re-launching radio and online conversation as challenging, as engaging, as various, as irresistible as we can make it.”

The new program’s goal is to explore Boston on its several cutting edges—from brain sciences and poetry to strategic studies and music—all of them outward looking and inextricably linked to the wider world.  Open Source will be drawing on online communities before and after the broadcast to help shape and deepen the public conversation.

Open Source with Christopher Lydon will join the exceptional collection of radio and online content produced by WBUR, including On Point with Tom Ashbrook; the newly expanded, two-hour Here & Now, reaching 367 NPR stations across the country; Only A Game, public radio’s only sports program; Radio Boston, WBUR’s daily exploration of politics, issues, arts and culture in the region; and digital-first content, including wbur.org, Cognoscenti, The ARTery and the CommonHealth blog.

“In a mobile, digitized world, New England remains vital as an American capital of ideas, teaching, learning and research,” said Lydon. “Our goal, drawing on the almighty human voice and the many extensions of modern media, is to make radio talk as bracing and smart as this Global City we’re living in.”

In addition, the Radio Open Source website will be central to the new WBUR project. Expanding its platform from its current state, the site will produce and offer more podcasts, which will be shared through WBUR’s website at wbur.org.

Before hosting The Connection on WBUR, Lydon covered national politics from Washington for The New York Times and hosted the Ten O’Clock News on WGBH-TV in Boston.  McGrath began her journey in broadcast and online journalism as a science producer at The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.

For more details, see the post from Chris on the Radio Open Source website.

WBUR Releases First E-Book: “Bulger on Trial”

“Best reporting on #Bulger for my money is David Boeri of @WBUR – The only ‘big picture’ perspective seeking TRUTH re Gov’t collusion.” @MickPaddyMack – Michael Patrick MacDonald, Author, All Souls: A Family Story from Southie via Twitter

1112_bulgerAs convicted criminal James “Whitey” Bulger faces sentencing in federal court this week, WBUR Senior Reporter David Boeri challenges the notion that the trial was a success. Bulger On Trial: Boston’s Most Notorious Gangster and the Pursuit of Justice is the new, full-length e-book being released today by WBUR through its iLab, an in-house unit fostering innovative content projects. The e-book is free, and available for download on Kindle, iPad and other devices.

Bulger On Trial: Boston’s Most Notorious Gangster and the Pursuit of Justice is the first book to explore last summer’s trial indepth, and it comes from the perspective of a reporter who’s investigated the story for decades.  An excerpt from Boeri’s introduction:

…What makes Whitey Bulger important, and different, is not so much what he did, but what the government did for him. Among the dramatis personae, a cast of hundreds in one of the longest sagas in local history, none loom so large as the FBI and its parent, the Department of Justice. If the FBI had not made Whitey its favorite mobster, broken the rules and rigged the game to his benefit, Bulger would never have reached as high as he did. More likely, he would have become another small-time casualty of gang warfare fought in the streets of South Boston.

The e-book is a spinoff of WBUR’s Bulger On Trial website, launched in June 2013 to serve as the definitive digital guide to Bulger as his long-anticipated trial began in Boston. It was reported by Boeri and produced by WBUR’s senior innovation producer Lisa Tobin, who spearheads all iLab projects. The website combines historical context, perspective and never-before-seen photos, videos and documents (personally collected and stored by Boeri for years in a converted hayloft in his barn) with minute-by-minute coverage and analysis from the courthouse.

The e-book weaves all of this rich content together into a compelling narrative exploration of Bulger, his victims, his accomplices and the trial. In the end, Boeri finds that justice was lacking because the government agencies that enabled Bulger’s ascent to power were not taken to task and held accountable.

“Bulger’s conviction was assured from the start,” says Boeri. “But the trial failed to provide an open trial in which the public could see the relationship between Bulger, the gangster, and those in government—the FBI and the Department of Justice—who had enabled, empowered and emboldened him. The prosecutors fought against the release of information at every turn. They narrowly focused on Bulger and kept the trial away from questions of who made Bulger what he became and how. In the end, the prosecutors defended the institutions and their secrets, while trying to prosecute Bulger. By doing so, they tried to serve two masters…and ended up angering both the jurors and the families of Bulger’s victims.  Though they won convictions on almost every count, at the heart of their case, they failed to prove to the jury that Bulger had committed eight of 19 murders he was accused of committing.”

Bulger On Trial: Boston’s Most Notorious Gangster and the Pursuit of Justice marks the first time that WBUR and its iLab have released an e-book. The WBUR  iLab, created in 2012, serves as an in-house incubator for the creation of original programming and new content at WBUR. Explore all projects from the WBUR iLab online at http://www.wbur.org/ilab.

 

I Drive Your Truck

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Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti in Afghanistan

At the Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night, “I Drive Your Truck” won Song of the Year. The song tells the story of a Massachusetts father whose son was killed in Afghanistan.  Raynham, Mass. resident Paul Monti, the father who started “Flags for Vets” in honor of his son, Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006, drives his son’s Dodge Ram to honor his memory. Paul Monti talked about his son Jared’s truck with WBUR and Here & Now’s Alex Ashlock in May 2011. A songwriter in Nashville heard that Here & Now segment on the Nashville NPR member station WPLN, and co-wrote the song, which was recorded by Lee Brice.

Take a moment to hear the follow-up and original story from Here & Now: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/11/07/cma-awards-monti

 

2013 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize Winner Announced

Reporter Becky Vevea of Chicago NPR member station WBEZ has been announced as the winner of the 2013 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize. Now in its 12th year, the prize is named for the respected NPR senior news analyst and veteran Washington journalist Daniel Schorr, who died in 2010.

The $5,000 Schorr Prize — sponsored by WBUR and Boston University, and funded by Jim and Nancy Bildner — salutes a new generation of public radio journalists 35 years old and under, seeking to inspire them to stretch the boundaries of the medium.

Vevea primarily focuses on education her work has appeared in The New York Times and USA Today. She has contributed radio reports to WBUR’s Here & Now, Marketplace, NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Vevea’s winning entry, “Chicago School Closings: Stories Beyond the Headlines” is a series that followed Chicago’s plan to close a record number of public schools in one year. Listen to her winning entry here:

 

WBUR Mayor’s Race Poll: Connolly Leads, Closely Followed By Walsh

Education cited as biggest problem facing Boston, may be a deciding issue

BOSTON, Sept. 19, 2013 – With only days to go before the preliminary election on Tuesday, a new WBUR Poll shows City Councilor John Connolly narrowly leading the pack of contenders in the Boston mayor’s race. Fifteen percent of likely voters support Connolly, followed by 12 percent for state Representative Marty Walsh. Rounding out the top five are former state Representative Charlotte Golar Richie (10 percent), Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley (8 percent) and City Councilor Felix Arroyo (also at 8 percent).

The lead for Connolly echoes recent poll findings, including a Boston Herald/Suffolk University Poll released yesterday showing Connolly in the lead with 16 percent support and a Boston Globe poll released last week.  The ordering of other candidates has varied somewhat between the three polls. 90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station, commissioned nonpartisan MassINC Polling Group to survey nearly 500 likely voters in the November mayoral election. Nearly one in five likely voters remain undecided at this point in the race.

Likely voters said that the three biggest problems facing the city were education (24 percent), crime (22 percent) and the economy/jobs (17 percent). Steve Koczela, president of the MassINC Polling Group who conducted the WBUR Poll, surmises that Connolly’s success may in part be due to his laser-like focus on education.

“Connolly is leading by 15 points over Walsh among those who call education the most important issue, and the highest number of people said it was the top issue,” said Koczela. “So his relentless focus on education is paying dividends. Among voters focused on the other two top issues, crime and the economy, no candidate has broken through.”

In this competitive election with so many mayoral candidates, geography may also help to illuminate prospective outcomes. The survey carved Boston into four regions, and the polling data show Connolly as the only candidate to register double-digit support across all four. By comparison, Dorchester’s Walsh performed best in his home territory, garnering 25 percent of the vote in the region that included Dorchester, East Boston and South Boston, yet he didn’t yield double-digit results in any of the other three regions. With regard to gender, Connolly was the top vote-getter among men (18 percent), but edged by Richie (14 percent), who leads among women.

The poll also explored opinions around the proposed casino development on Suffolk Downs in East Boston, and found opinion closely divided between supporters (47 percent) and opponents (44 percent). Survey participants were also asked whether all city residents or just the residents of East Boston should be able to vote on the proposal. A significant majority, 70 percent, felt that all Boston residents should be able to vote on this issue.

About the WBUR Poll:

Results are based on a survey of 487 likely voters in the September 2013 preliminary election for mayor in Boston. The poll was conducted September 14-16, 2013. Live telephone interviews were conducted via both landline and cell phone, using conventional registration-based sampling procedures. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 4.4 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence. The poll was sponsored by WBUR, the NPR station in the Boston area.

For the complete WBUR Poll, including topline findings and crosstab results, visit www.wbur.org.

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About 90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station: One of the nation’s most successful public radio stations, WBUR produces national programs On Point, Here & Now, Only A Game and Car Talk, reaching millions of listeners on NPR stations across the United States and online. Located on Commonwealth Avenue at Boston University, WBUR has the largest radio newsroom in New England, dedicated to covering topics that matter in Boston, across Massachusetts and throughout the region.

About the MassINC Polling Group: The MassINC Polling Group (MPG) is an independent, nonpartisan organization providing public opinion research and analysis to public, private and social sector clients. MPG is a full-service opinion polling operation offering strategic consultation, a wide-ranging suite of analytical products and high-level communication and outreach planning.  For more information, visit www.massincpolling.com.

 

WBUR Will Expand Education Reporting With $100,000 Knight And Boston Foundation Grant

WBUR is launching a statewide education reporting project, thanks to a $100,000 grant: $50,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and a matching grant from the Boston Foundation.

The project, a partnership between WBUR, the Boston Foundation and Glass Eye Media, is designed to create a forum for thoughtful conversation around improving Massachusetts schools. Learning Lab will use WBUR’s editorial resources, the structured beat approach that Glass Eye Media originally developed for its award-winning Homicide Watch, and the Boston Foundation’s connection to the education community to build data, create tools and encourage change. The project will increase the station’s capacity to cover education, while building a replicable framework for effective coverage of education reform in other regions and states.

“We’re excited to be working with Glass Eye Media and the Boston Foundation to expand WBUR’s coverage of education, a critically important issue for our community,” said John Davidow, WBUR executive editor, digital. “With the tools and reporting we’ll provide, parents and policymakers will get real information about what works and what doesn’t in education reform, and they’ll be able to participate more effectively in conversations about what to do next.”

Charlie Kravetz, WBUR general manager, noted, “We’re delighted to be partnering with the Boston Foundation on this grant. It’s a strong indicator of our commitment to innovation in education reporting.”

“The Boston Foundation shares WBUR’s belief in the power of data to inform and engage,” said Paul S. Grogan, president and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “We’re excited to support the launch of Learning Lab and the opportunity to bring WBUR’s and Glass Eye Media’s trusted, independent reporting and analysis to education.”

This grant is one of 10 awarded this year through the Knight Community Information Challenge, which engages community and place-based foundations in supporting news and information projects. Other winning projects include data training for Alaskan journalists, community news partnerships in rural Washington and New Mexico, and a new database in New Orleans to track government contracts.

“Whether you’re interested in improving schools, government transparency, or air quality, good information is a key ingredient to social change,” said Bahia Ramos, director of Knight Foundation’s community foundation program. “A growing number of community and place-based foundations realize that and are stepping up to invest in meeting community information needs.”

 

About 90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station

Founded in 1950, WBUR began broadcasting NPR programming in 1970, offering NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered along with local news programming and establishing its iconic identity as a news and information station. One of the nation’s most successful public radio stations today, WBUR produces national programs On Point, Here & Now, Only A Game and Car Talk, reaching millions of listeners on NPR stations across the United States and online. Located on Commonwealth Avenue at Boston University, WBUR has the largest radio newsroom in New England, dedicated to covering topics that matter in Boston, across Massachusetts and throughout the region.

 

About the Boston Foundation

The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of nearly $900 million. In 2012, the Foundation and its donors made $88 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of close to $60 million. The Foundation is a partner in philanthropy, with some 900 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener and sponsor of special initiatives that address the region’s most pressing challenges. For more information, visit www.tbf.org.

 

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.KnightFoundation.org.

 

About Glass Eye Media

Glass Eye Media, founded by Chris and Laura Amico, created Homicide Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based website for data-driven coverage of violent crime that was recognized as a notable entry in the 2011 Knight-Batten Awards for Innovation in Journalism. News organizations and universities including the Sun Times, Digital First Media, Northeastern University and University of Colorado Boulder have partnered with Glass Eye Media to license its technology and use its community-driven approach to journalism. In 2013, Homicide Watch DC won the Knight award for public service journalism, was a finalist in the general excellence category for news sites by the Online News Association, and received a special citation from the National Press Foundation. For more, visit www.homicidewatch.org.

 

WBUR Partners With Slate On Health Podcast: The Checkup

Premiering today, this audio spinoff of WBUR’s CommonHealth blog is geared toward women and takes a fresh approach to health

Slate magazine and WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, have teamed up to launch The Checkup, a new podcast series premiering today that focuses on health and is aimed at a female audience. The Checkup’s first episode, which tackles health myths around pregnancy and childbirth, is now available for download at www.Slate.com.

The Checkup features CommonHealth’s co-hosts — former Wall Street Journal reporter Rachel Zimmerman and former New York Times reporter Carey Goldberg – along with numerous expert guests as they talk through timely health-related happenings and curiosities with a refreshing liveliness not always associated with the medical news genre.

Slate is thrilled to welcome this new collaboration with WBUR to our podcast lineup,” said Andy Bowers, Executive Producer of Slate podcasts. “Both WBUR and Slate produce smart, high-quality journalism, and there’s a natural overlap in our audiences. We’re excited to join forces with one of public radio’s most dynamic stations to offer this entertaining and enlightening program, which we’re confident both Slate podcast fans and WBUR listeners will love.”

“At WBUR, we’re constantly looking for ways to engage new audiences around our reporting, so we are delighted to team up with Slate for this new health podcast,” said WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz. “This partnership reflects WBUR’s deep commitment to innovation and program incubation, because we know that’s how we’ll continue to be strong in the future.”

“The Checkup podcast with Slate is a result of our strategic plan to create more digital-first products with an eye toward finding ways to syndicate the content on-air, in podcasts and beyond,” said WBUR.org Executive Editor John Davidow. “CommonHealth’s success online, with its personal approach from Rachel and Carey on the trials and tribulations of getting the best healthcare for you and your family, will make for great podcasts.”

WBUR’s CommonHealth began as a small but unique and important online forum for discussing the landmark Massachusetts healthcare reform of 2006. In fall 2010, through Project ARGO, NPR, The Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded a major expansion that turned CommonHealth into a full-blown health news website, covering the next phase of reform, and also personal health, medical research, the cost of care and more. CommonHealth’s reporting has been cited by other media ranging from The New York Times to The Boston Globe. It is featured regularly on WBUR’s air (90.9 FM in Greater Boston) and frequently posted on the NPR website (npr.org). The Knight Science Journalism Tracker has called CommonHealth “indispensable.”

The Check-Up marks the second collaboration between Slate podcasts and acclaimed public radio organizations. Gabfest Radio, a partnership with WNYC, was launched just last year. Since its founding in 1996, Slate has been committed to providing smart, counterintuitive analysis of news and culture, and these values have been instilled into Slate’s wide array of podcasts, which broadcast to millions of listeners each month.

The Checkup will be available for download every Monday at www.Slate.com and wbur.org.

About Slate
Slate is a daily magazine on the Web that offers analysis and commentary about news, politics, culture, business, law and technology. Slate‘s strong editorial voice and witty take on current events have been recognized with numerous awards, including the National Magazine Award for General Excellence Online and the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism. Reaching eleven million unique visitors per month, Slate is the centerpiece of the Slate Group, an online publishing subsidiary of the Washington Post Co. For more information about Slate, visit www.slate.com. (NYSE:WPO)

 

About 90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station

Founded in 1950, WBUR began broadcasting NPR programming in 1970, offering NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered along with local news programming and establishing its iconic identity as a news and information station. One of the nation’s most successful public radio stations today, WBUR produces national programs On PointHere & NowOnly A Game and Car Talk, reaching millions of listeners on NPR stations across the United States and online. Located on Commonwealth Avenue at Boston University, WBUR has the largest radio newsroom in New England, dedicated to covering topics that matter in Boston, across Massachusetts and throughout the region.

 

WBUR, BU Seek Entries For 2013 Schorr Prize

WBUR and Boston University announce the Call for Entries for the 12th annual Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize. The deadline for entries is Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.

The Prize is an award of $5,000 given to a rising journalist in public radio for a news story or segment  – whether broadcast, podcast or published online, using any combination of audio and other media  – of significance and quality. By sponsoring this award, WBUR hopes to inspire a new generation of journalists to stretch the boundaries of the medium and encourage journalists in training to choose public radio as a career path.

We are guided by the vision and example of the late Daniel Schorr, who gave American journalism a lifetime of commitment through his insight, intelligence and integrity. Dan was greatly honored to have this award carry his name. He believed strongly in supporting talented journalists as they rose through the ranks of the broadcast industry — particularly young journalists who have found a calling in public radio. All entrants must be 35 or younger as of June 30, 2013.

Complete guidelines and relevant links are available here.

WBUR Enters Agreement to Sell 1240-AM in West Yarmouth To Langer Broadcasting

Alex Langer, President and Chairman of Langer Broadcasting Group, LLC and Charles Kravetz, General Manager of WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station, announced that they have signed a letter of intent for Langer Broadcasting Group to purchase WBUR’s repeater signal, 1240-AM in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts. Langer’s new station will serve the large Brazilian and Portuguese communities of Cape Cod and the Islands.

“I’m eager to share more Portuguese-language programming with growing audiences, as we’ve done in the greater Boston area with Radio 650-AM, WSRO,” said Langer. “There is an appetite for more multi-cultural broadcasting in Massachusetts, especially in areas like Cape Cod where the Portuguese-speaking community is increasing every year.”

WBUR has simulcast its programming on WBUR AM 1240 since it secured ownership of the station in 1997. The 1240 signal has served Cape Cod and the Islands since 1940 and was Cape Cod’s first radio station. The changeover is expected to take place sometime in the fall, pending FCC approval.

“In February, when WBUR began simulcasting on 92.7 WBUA in Martha’s Vineyard, we recognized that our 1240-AM signal was redundant in its coverage. And so, we’re pleased the station will now go to Langer Broadcasting, where it’ll be used to serve the Portuguese-speaking communities of Cape Cod and the Islands,” said WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz.

WBUR purchased 92.7 from Aritaur Communications earlier this year, boosting its reach to more than 60,000 prospective listeners on Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Cod, as well as in New Bedford, Fall River, Falmouth, Westport, Marion and other Massachusetts South Coast locations. This signal is in addition to WBUR’s current 50,000-watt signal on 90.9 FM, which broadcasts across all of metropolitan Boston and eastern Massachusetts.

WSRO, Langer’s first Portuguese formatted radio station, headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, offers  family-friendly talk, music, news, entertainment, and religious content. WSRO is the only Brazilian Portuguese-based, 24-hour radio station in the USA.

‘On Point’s’ Tom Ashbrook And Tech Visionary Nicholas Negroponte Discuss Learning In The Digital Age

On Friday, July 26, WBUR and WBUA listeners on Martha’s Vineyard conveyed at the Old Whaling Church in beautiful Edgartown to join On Point host Tom Ashbrook and his guest, tech visionary and the founder of the MIT Media Lab and One Laptop Per Child, Nicholas Negroponte for “Reinventing Media 4.0,” a discussion on the digital age and how we learn.

Presented by WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station and the home of On Point, now broadcasting on 92.7 WBUA for the Cape, Islands and South Coast, the free event drew members from the community to hear the two discuss how digital devices are transforming the way children learn by playing with the devices and figuring them out on their own, rather than by listening to teachers and memorizing information.

Listen to the full conversation here:

 

‘Only A Game’ Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Twenty years ago, Only A Game made its debut from the studios of 90.9 WBUR in Boston. Today, in partnership with NPR, it remains the only sports show in all of public radio, and the only nationally syndicated radio sports program based in Boston.

Hosted since inception on July 24, 1993, by veteran NPR sports commentator and author Bill Littlefield, Only A Game has stayed true to its mission for two decades, covering the intimate human stories behind athletic achievements big and small, with topics ranging from Little Leagues to the big leagues, from the Super Bowl to soccer moms. During its one-hour program each week, Littlefield and the staff have continually put sports into perspective with intelligent analysis, insightful interviews and a keen sense humor. Recent guests include NBA Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, and Phil Jackson; author John Grisham on baseball; legendary baseball manager Tony La Russa, former Cy Young Award winner Dwight Gooden, and Boston Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield; Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas; tennis greats Billie Jean King, Jimmy Connors, and Serena Williams; golfer Annika Sorenstam; and Pro Football Hall of Famers Larry Czonka and Carl Eller.

“From the beginning, Only A Game’s ‘secret sauce’ has been getting at the anatomy of what makes the celebration of sports special in all of our lives, whether you’re an athlete or not,” said Sam Fleming, managing director of news and programming, WBUR. “Nobody captures that magic better in the world of sports journalism than Bill Littlefield and the team at Only A Game.”

In the last 20 years, the show has featured in-depth reporting on issues that affect both professional and amateur athletes including concussions; performance-enhancing drugs; Title IX; and the impact of municipal funding for new pro sports stadiums. Littlefield takes pride in Only A Game’s commitment to covering women’s sports and participatory activities that illustrate the humanity sports can provide for all genders and ages, whether its soccer games in Spain or pick-up rugby games in Cambridge, Mass.

Only A Game also explores the little known corners of the sports world, capturing stories from participatory sports that lack the star power to attract attention from other media outlets. Over the years, they’ve covered everything from trampoline dodgeball to lobster boat drag racing. Only A Game also celebrates a mash-up of sports and poetry with its annual Super Bowl Haiku competition. Another consistently popular hallmark of Only A Game is the weekly sports round up with renowned Esquire and Grantland magazine writer and Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! contributor Charlie Pierce, formerly of The Boston Globe.

In addition to Littlefield and Pierce, the staff which is one of the longest running teams in public radio, includes Senior Producer Gary Waleik; Producer Karen Given; Producer Doug Tribou; and Technical Director John Perotti.

Only A Game airs on nearly 200 public radio stations across the country, reaching more than 300,000 weekly listeners. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Only A Game is planning a retrospective look at the show throughout 2013, including occasional archival audio highlights, updates on favorite past stories and interviews, as well as a live event in Boston.

In Greater Boston, Only A Game airs every Saturday at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on 90.9 FM. Check your local listings for other Only A Game broadcasts, or simply download the podcast at http://onlyagame.wbur.org/.

More Midday News: Here & Now Expands to Two Hours in New Partnership with NPR

Program Offers Live, Updated News From Around the World, Nation and Community

Beginning today, more than 300 NPR Member stations across the country will broadcast the new, expanded Here & Now to meet growing audience demand for midday news and analysis. The live program, hosted by Robin Young for more than a decade and beginning today with co-host Jeremy Hobson, reflects the fluid world of news as it’s happening, with timely, smart and in-depth news and conversation. With today’s expansion, the show will now reach twice as many listeners as its previous audience.

Here & Now expands from one to two hours with updates for different time zones across the country as part of a groundbreaking partnership between NPR and WBUR, Boston, which has been producing the program since 1997. This marks the first time NPR has collaborated with a Member station on a daily news program. NPR selected Here & Now specifically to serve as a bridge in midday, between its signature news magazines, Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

“Through this partnership with WBUR, we’re creating what will very quickly become the next two hours of must-hear radio for millions of listeners,” said Gary E. Knell, President & CEO of NPR. “This show represents an entirely new way of working across public radio to produce the best news content possible and reflect a broad range of American interests.”

Here & Now’s daily lineup will include interviews with NPR hosts, reporters, editors and bloggers as well as news from stations across the nation. In the midday timeslot, Here & Now will often function as public radio’s first source for breaking news coverage with NPR.

To ensure that Here & Now reflects what’s happening in a diverse geographic range of communities, NPR and WBUR have formed a 15-member contributors network of public radio stations across the U.S. – from WHYY in Philadelphia to KQED in San Francisco and KUT in Texas. These stations will regularly contribute to Here & Now through feature stories, interviews or as on-the-ground resources when news is unfolding in a specific market.

“Our Here & Now collaboration is a prime example of the new ecosystem in public radio, using all of our collective strength to stay competitive, serve the public and be strong and relevant during this age of digital disruption,” said Charlie Kravetz, general manager, WBUR.

Since the NPR collaboration with WBUR was announced, numerous NPR journalists have appeared on Here & Now, including Morning Edition Host Steve Inskeep, Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving and International Correspondent Peter Kenyon. Digital-first productions, like NPR Music and the pop-culture blog Monkey See, are being developed into regular weekly segments for the show.

Robin Young, host of Here & Now since 2000, is a Peabody Award-winning journalist who has reported for NBC, CBS and ABC television. She is now joined by Jeremy Hobson, a public radio reporter, producer and former host of Marketplace Morning Report. Additionally, Meghna Chakrabarti, co-host of WBUR’s Radio Boston, has been selected as the program’s primary back-up host.

Exploring the Impact of Modern Warfare: What It Means When Veterans Suffer From Moral Injury

Boston’s WBUR, American Public Media’s Public Insight Network and Symbolia Collaborate on Special News Series – Debuts Monday, June 24

One-third of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan say they’ve experienced some kind of mental health issue. While this manifests itself in many forms, veterans who’ve been part of something that betrayed their sense of “right and wrong” often find themselves grappling with guilt and remorse so intense that researchers are trying to better understand it. They call it “moral injury,” and it results from having done something — or failed to stop something from happening — that violated the veteran’s personal moral code.

Boston’s WBUR, American Public Media’s Public Insight Network (PIN) and Symbolia magazine embarked upon a special reporting project to explore moral injury. A visually arresting digital comic book, illustrated by Andy Warner of Symbolia, was created to serve as a “primer” and lay the foundation for the resulting series of special news reports. The comic book is online now at wbur.org and PIN.

The full “Moral Injury” news series launches today with daily on-air and online segments from reporters Martha Bebinger (WBUR), Jeff Severns Guntzel (PIN) and Samara Freemark (PIN) on WBUR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. The series, composed of five segments, will last the entire week.

The series developed from PIN’s ongoing work talking to veterans about their experiences moving on from war and pioneering work from psychiatrist Jonathan Shay and psychologist Brett Litz, leading researchers on the condition. The Public Insight Network invites veterans to help journalists report more on this topic by sharing their own experiences in a short, confidential questionnaire.

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