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

Panel Recommends Big Raises For Governor, Other State Officials

December 01, 2014
Gov.-elect Charlie Baker, in the WBUR studios Monday (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

BOSTON — The governor’s salary should be raised $33,200, to $185,000, a special advisory commission on public sector compensation recommended Monday.

Growing Food Insecurity At Mass. Public Colleges, State Says

November 25, 2014
(Salvation Army USA West/Flickr via Compfight; photo edits by Benjamin Swasey/WBUR)

BOSTON — Nineteen of the state’s 29 public college campuses have opened food pantries or are now distributing food to some students.

Mass. Adds 1,200 Jobs In October; Unemployment Rate Stays At 6 Percent

November 20, 2014

BOSTON — The Massachusetts jobless rate is above the national level, which is currently 5.8 percent.

Marathon Medal, David Ortiz Bobblehead In New Boston Time Capsule

November 19, 2014
A Bostonian Society staffer holds up the Boston Marathon medal placed into the new Old State House time capsule. (Courtesy of the Bostonian Society)

BOSTON — The items are among 28 objects placed into a time capsule in a lion statue that’s bound, again, for its perch atop the Old State House.

Mass. Gas Prices Are At Lowest Level Since 2010

November 17, 2014
Dana Ripley, of Winthrop, fills the gas tank of his truck in Andover on Sept. 30. (Charles Krupa/AP)

BOSTON — This week’s 3-cent drop continues a months-long trend.

Coakley Concedes To Baker In Governor’s Race

November 05, 2014
Martha Coakley speaks to supporters after her governor's race loss. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

BOSTON — Massachusetts’ long Election Night ended Wednesday morning with Democrat Martha Coakley conceding the governor’s race to Republican Charlie Baker.

Mass. Voters Back Earned Sick Time Law

November 04, 2014

BOSTON — The law will allow all workers the chance to accrue and use up to 40 hours of sick time a year.

It’s Been 10 Years Since ‘The Steal’ Saved The Red Sox

October 17, 2014
The Steal

BOSTON — Ten years ago, on Oct. 17, 2004, “The Steal” catapulted the Sox over the Yankees in Game 4 of the ALCS.

Mass. Adds 9,400 Jobs In September, After Market Basket Disruptions End

October 16, 2014
Protesters celebrate outside Market Basket headquarters in Tewksbury after the grocery chain reached a deal to return control back to Arthur T. Demoulas. (Aram Boghosian for WBUR)

BOSTON — Amid erratic jobs numbers, the state unemployment rate increased last month, from 5.8 percent to 6 percent.

Lion’s Head Time Capsule Contents In ‘Remarkably Good’ Condition

October 15, 2014
The contents of the Old State House time capsule (Courtesy of The Bostonian Society)

BOSTON — The items include: various Boston newspapers from 1901; campaign buttons, including one of Teddy Roosevelt; and a nail from the Old South Church.

The Smiley Face Was Made In Worcester, And It’s Now 50

October 03, 2014
Smiley face creator Harvey Ball, of Worcester, autographs posters in his office on July 6, 1998. (Paul Connors/AP)

The iconic yellow smiley face was created by Worcester artist Harvey Ball in 1963.

Tom Brady Posted His (Pre-Patriots) Resume

September 18, 2014

“Really thought I was going to need this after the 5th round,” the now-star QB wrote.

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.

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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