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

Quotation Of The Week: Where’s The Library Art?

May 22, 2015
Walsh on BPL

This week it was revealed that the Boston Public Library is missing two prints. One is valued at $600,000.

Mass. Adds 10,100 Jobs In April; Jobless Rate Ticks Down To 4.7 Percent

May 21, 2015

The jobless rate was last at 4.7 percent in January 2008, the state labor department reported.

Report: At Mass. Minimum Wage, 110 Work Hours Needed To Afford 2-Bedroom Apartment

May 19, 2015
(Courtesy of National Low Income Housing Coalition)

A minimum wage earner in Massachusetts making $9 an hour would have to work 110 hours a week to reasonably afford an average two-bedroom apartment in the state.

Quotation Of The Week: Speaking For Tsarnaev

May 08, 2015
tsarnaev-teacher

Becki Norris is a Cambridge educator, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev used to be her student. She took to Cognoscenti to explain her decision to testify on his behalf in his death penalty trial.

Quotation Of The Week: Saigon Falls, A War Ends

May 01, 2015
vietnam-anniversary

Some Vietnamese view April 30 as the day they lost their country. Others, like Nguyen Huu Thai, call it a day of independence.

State: More Than 1,000 Died Of Opioid-Related Overdoses In 2014

April 28, 2015
OxyContin pills are arranged at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. in this 2013 file photo. Opioid drugs include OxyContin. (Toby Talbot/AP)

That’s a 33 percent jump over 2012 figures.

Quotation Of The Week: ‘DeflateGate’ Har Har

April 24, 2015
deflategate-obama

President Obama’s Patriots joke received laughter and some groans, and a classic reaction from Bill Belichick — a thumbs down.

Jurors View Video Of Tsarnaev Giving Middle-Finger

April 22, 2015
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in a July 2013 photo taken from a surveillance camera (U.S. Department of Justice)

Jurors saw footage of the marathon bomber giving the middle finger to a security camera while in a holding cell before a 2013 court appearance.

As It Happened: 2015 Boston Marathon

April 20, 2015
Winners Caroline Rotich, left, and Lelisa Desisa (AP)

Follow along for complete coverage of the 119th Boston Marathon.

Quotation Of The Week: A Mother Forgives Her Son’s Killer

April 17, 2015
Ursula Ward

Ursula Ward delivered an emotional statement after a jury convicted former Patriots star Aaron Hernandez on a first-degree murder charge in connection with her son’s 2013 killing.

Find The Uninsured Rate In Your Mass. Town

April 02, 2015
(Courtesy of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation)

Massachusetts has the lowest rate of residents lacking health insurance. We know that. But the state figure masks significant variation on a more local level.

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.

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
0918_brady-resume-crop

“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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