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

Record Snow ‘Not Expected To Derail’ Mass. Economy, Board Says

March 24, 2015
Anthony Dimare, left, loses the items he is delivering in February in East Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

But, the board of economists said, the weather will have “a disproportionate impact on low-income workers.”

Quotation Of The Week: Welcome, Spring

March 20, 2015
Spring is here...

Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers, Florida, reminded us that Boston’s baseball season will soon be here.

Well That’s Just Cruel: Dusting Of Snow Set For 1st Night Of Spring

March 20, 2015
NWS March 20 Twitter Photo

After a winter of record snowfall, a dusting of snow is forecast to brush through Greater Boston Friday evening.

Mass. Unemployment Rate Drops Below 5 Percent

March 19, 2015

The good news is despite the fact that Massachusetts added just 800 jobs last month.

Boston Inequality Ticks Down — But It’s Now The 3rd-Most Unequal Big City

March 17, 2015
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, seen here addressing the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce in late 2014, has made shrinking the income gap in the city a central focus. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

In 2012, Boston households in the 95th percentile of income earned 15 times what the poorest 20 percent made.

Quotation Of The Week: A Place Of His Own

March 13, 2015
WBUR's Quotation Of The Week

Boston-based Pine Street Inn now manages more permanent beds than temporary beds.

Mass. Adds 2,600 Jobs In January; Jobless Rate Down To 5.1 Percent

March 10, 2015

The state jobless rate of 5.1 percent is the lowest it’s been since May 2008.

Boston Wants Your Ideas For Reimagining City Hall Plaza

March 09, 2015
Have an idea to reimagine the oft-barren landscape that is Boston City Hall Plaza?

Have an idea to reimagine the oft-barren landscape that is Boston City Hall Plaza? Mayor Marty Walsh wants to hear it.

Quotation Of The Week: A Tsarnaev Admission

March 06, 2015

In her opening statement, defense attorney Judy Clarke admitted that her client, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, bombed the Boston Marathon.

Gov. Baker Establishes Cabinet On Job Training

February 26, 2015
By executive order, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has created a Workforce Skills Cabinet. (Steven Senne/AP)

Hoping to boost the Massachusetts economy over the long term, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday established a panel on bridging the so-called workforce skills gap.

Boston Councilors Seek New Tax On Alcohol

February 24, 2015
The local sales tax would apply to alcoholic beverages sold at Boston liquor stores and supermarkets, and at bars and restaurants. (Kate Borkowski/Flickr)

If approved by the council and Legislature, the resulting funds would go toward substance abuse prevention and treatment programs.

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)

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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