WBUR Staff

Benjamin Swasey

Digital Editor, WBUR

Ben is an editor — and occasional blogger — for wbur.org. When he reports, it’s most often on economic and transportation policy, social issues and politics.

Ben is from western Massachusetts, and now lives in Cambridge.

Recent stories

Boston Area’s Economic Growth Slowed Last Year

September 16, 2014
New England metro GDP growth in 2013

Greater Boston’s economy grew 1.6 percent in 2013. The metro area expanded 2.5 percent the year before.

Led By Massive Target Theft, Data Breaches Affected 1.2 Million In Mass. In 2013

September 04, 2014
Nearly 1 million Massachusetts residents were affected by Target's massive security breach in late 2013, the state says. Here's a Target store in Watertown on Dec. 19, 2013. (Steven Senne/AP)

BOSTON — Nearly 1.2 million residents had their personal information compromised last year, with most of the breaches stemming from a data theft from Target stores.

Deal Reached To End Market Basket Standoff, Bring Back Arthur T.

August 28, 2014
Protesters celebrate outside Market Basket's headquarters in Tewksbury Wednesday night after the grocery chain finallly reached a deal to return control back to Artie T. Demoulas. (Aram Boghosian for WBUR)

BOSTON — The long-feuding Demoulas family has agreed to sell the majority stake of the regional supermarket chain to Arthur T. Demoulas.

What Surplus U.S. Military Gear Mass. Has Received Since 2006

August 19, 2014
A member of the St. Louis County Police Department points his weapon in the direction of a group of protesters in Ferguson last week. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

BOSTON — Check out our sortable table for everything from mine resistant vehicles in Bristol County to a digital camera for Worcester County.

Most Food Banks In Eastern Mass. See Rise In Clients, Report Finds

August 18, 2014
Greater Boston Food Bank President Catherine D’Amato in the warehouse in a 2013 file photo (Joe Spurr/WBUR)

BOSTON — Nearly 64 percent of The Greater Boston Food Bank’s member agencies reported seeing a year-over-year increase in food bank clients.

Mass. Jobs Jump In July; Unemployment Rate Ticks Up

August 14, 2014

BOSTON — The Massachusetts economy added 13,800 jobs in July, according to preliminary estimates, while the state unemployment rate ticked up to 5.6 percent.

Study: Municipal Policies Reflect Residents’ Views — And Mass. Has Some Liberal Cities

August 07, 2014
Then-U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and her husband Bruce Mann vote at a school in Cambridge on Election Day in 2012. A new study pegs Cambridge as the most liberal mid-size municipality in Massachusetts. (Dominick Reuter/WBUR)

BOSTON — Boston is the fifth most-liberal big city in the country. And it’s not even the most liberal municipality in the area. That distinction goes to Cambridge.

At 4.9 Percent, Mass. Economic Growth Outpaces U.S. In 2nd Quarter

July 30, 2014

BOSTON — The state economy grew at an estimated annual rate of 4.9 percent from April to June, topping the nation’s 4 percent expansion over the same period.

Miss Newport Folk Festival? NPR Has You Covered

July 28, 2014
Ryan Adams performs at the Newport Folk Festival. (NPR Music)

BOSTON — The 55th iteration of the iconic music festival happened this past weekend in Rhode Island, and NPR Music, as it does every year, is posting audio and photos.

How One UMass Economist Would Set A Boston Area Minimum Wage

July 23, 2014
Pedro Rodriguez, right, talks with Andrus Reyes at a Burger King in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood in December, as part of nationwide protests in support of higher wages for workers in the fast-food industry and other minimum-wage jobs. (Stephan Savoia/AP)

BOSTON — Using Arin Dube’s calculations, the Boston metro could have a have a wage floor of $12.85 an hour.

Mass. Adds 3,700 Jobs In June; Jobless Rate Ticks Down To 5.5 Percent

July 17, 2014

BOSTON — That’s the lowest state jobless rate since August 2008, and the figure is down from 6.8 percent in January.

Doc Says Pedal: Boston Launches ‘Prescribe-A-Bike’ Hubway Program

March 26, 2014
(gobanshee1/Flickr via Compflight)

Boston Medical Center physicians can refer low-income patients for a $5 membership to the area’s bike share system, under a new initiative.

Liner Note Nostalgia And Music Consumption Now

March 19, 2014
Ben found this CD, Soul Asylum's "Grave Dancers Union," from 1992, in WBUR behind the studio. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Was Ben’s love of music deepened because early on he often read while he listened? He mulls it over.

Guatemalan Children Serenade Kerry With ‘Sweet Caroline’

June 07, 2013
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens as students in a State Department educational program focused on impoverished and indigenous children serenade him with a rendition of "Sweet Caroline" during a visit to their school in Antigua, Guatemala, on June 5, 2013. (State Department/Flickr)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry got a touching reminder of his Boston roots in Guatemala this week.

Storm Aftermath: Practicing Medicine Without Power

November 02, 2011
A stethoscope (nwxiang/Flickr)

The staff at one North Andover pediatrician’s office is, for the fourth straight day in an outage, “seeing sick kids in the cold, with no computers, no phones and no lights.”

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