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

Mass. Adds 10,900 Jobs In December; Unemployment Rate Down To 5.5 Percent

January 22, 2015

BOSTON — Massachusetts added an estimated 60,900 jobs last year. That’s the state’s strongest year for job growth since 2000.

Surgeon Dies After Shooting At Brigham And Women’s Hospital; Suspect Found Dead

January 20, 2015
Law enforcement officials and hospital staff are outside the Shapiro building at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston Tuesday, where a doctor was critically shot. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

BOSTON — Dr. Michael Davidson, 44, died hours after the shooting. Boston police identified the alleged shooter as Stephen Pasceri, 55, of Millbury.

6 Things To Keep In Mind For Walsh's State Of The City

January 13, 2015
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks during a news conference Friday, after Boston was picked by the USOC as its bid city for the 2024 Summer Games. (Winslow Townson/AP)

BOSTON — A year and a week into his term, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh delivers his first State of the City address tonight. Here are six things to keep in mind.

Walsh Promises ‘Most Transparent’ Olympic Bid Process In History

January 09, 2015
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh speaks during a news conference earlier this month, after Boston was picked by the USOC as its bid city for the 2024 Olympic Summer Games. (Winslow Townson/AP)

BOSTON — Boston’s mayor also laid out a schedule of nine community meetings across the city.

‘We’re Nowhere Near Our Full Potential,’ Baker Says As He’s Sworn In As Governor

January 08, 2015
Gov. Charlie Baker delivers his inaugural address Thursday at the State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker struck a bipartisan tone in his inaugural address, but the Republican also made it clear that he believes the state has “a spending problem,” referencing a budget deficit that will be an early test for his administration.

Mass. Adds 13,500 Jobs In November; Unemployment Rate Down To 5.8 Percent

December 18, 2014

BOSTON — The strong Massachusetts jobs growth occurred in a month in which the U.S. added an estimated 321,000 jobs.

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.

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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