‘On Point’s’ Tom Ashbrook And Tech Visionary Nicholas Negroponte Discuss Learning In The Digital Age

On Friday, July 26, WBUR and WBUA listeners on Martha’s Vineyard conveyed at the Old Whaling Church in beautiful Edgartown to join On Point host Tom Ashbrook and his guest, tech visionary and the founder of the MIT Media Lab and One Laptop Per Child, Nicholas Negroponte for “Reinventing Media 4.0,” a discussion on the digital age and how we learn.

Presented by WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station and the home of On Point, now broadcasting on 92.7 WBUA for the Cape, Islands and South Coast, the free event drew members from the community to hear the two discuss how digital devices are transforming the way children learn by playing with the devices and figuring them out on their own, rather than by listening to teachers and memorizing information.

Listen to the full conversation here:


Exploring the Impact of Modern Warfare: What It Means When Veterans Suffer From Moral Injury

Boston’s WBUR, American Public Media’s Public Insight Network and Symbolia Collaborate on Special News Series – Debuts Monday, June 24

One-third of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan say they’ve experienced some kind of mental health issue. While this manifests itself in many forms, veterans who’ve been part of something that betrayed their sense of “right and wrong” often find themselves grappling with guilt and remorse so intense that researchers are trying to better understand it. They call it “moral injury,” and it results from having done something — or failed to stop something from happening — that violated the veteran’s personal moral code.

Boston’s WBUR, American Public Media’s Public Insight Network (PIN) and Symbolia magazine embarked upon a special reporting project to explore moral injury. A visually arresting digital comic book, illustrated by Andy Warner of Symbolia, was created to serve as a “primer” and lay the foundation for the resulting series of special news reports. The comic book is online now at and PIN.

The full “Moral Injury” news series launches today with daily on-air and online segments from reporters Martha Bebinger (WBUR), Jeff Severns Guntzel (PIN) and Samara Freemark (PIN) on WBUR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. The series, composed of five segments, will last the entire week.

The series developed from PIN’s ongoing work talking to veterans about their experiences moving on from war and pioneering work from psychiatrist Jonathan Shay and psychologist Brett Litz, leading researchers on the condition. The Public Insight Network invites veterans to help journalists report more on this topic by sharing their own experiences in a short, confidential questionnaire.

Tom Ashbrook Hosts On Point Live With Mark Bittman And Della Mae


Mark Bittman joined Tom Ashbrook on June 6th in a special edition of On Point Live at the Paramount Center in Boston.

On Point host Tom Ashbrook welcomed best-selling author and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman as his guest for this year’s rendition of On Point Live on Thursday, June 6 at the Paramount Center in downtown Boston. The sold-out show took place in front of a live audience of nearly 600 people and the interview was broadcast nationally the next day on 240 public radio stations across the country.

Bittman joined Ashbrook on stage for a discussion of diet and his new book, VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good. Bittman explained his strategy of transforming two thirds of his diet by eating vegan before 6 p.m. to increase his consumption of plants and turn his health around for the better. The two broadened the conversation with an analysis of the American diet through a discussion of the practices and policies of the agricultural and meat industries. To close, Bittman optimistically argued that our diet has been as bad as it will ever be and can continue to improve through small changes on an individual level, and raising consciousness of nutrition, food sourcing and cooking on a broader level.


Della Mae performed songs off their new album, This World Oft Can Be

Special musical guest, bluegrass sensation Della Mae, opened the show with a high-energy live set. The Boston-based group wowed the audience with their blend of fiddle, fretboard and voice, and performed songs from their latest album, This World Oft Can Be, which was recently released on Rounder Records.

‘Boston After The Bombings': Hope And Healing

On Point host Tom Ashbrook moderated “Boston After the Bombings: A Public Conversation of Hope & Healing” on Wednesday, April 24, at Emerson College’s Cutler Majestic Theatre. This  free community event was presented by WBUR and The Boston Foundation, with support from Emerson College, ArtsEmerson, M. Steinert & Sons  and the Boston University School of Music. It was broadcast live on WBUR and streamed on You can watch a video of the event here:

Or, if you prefer, listen to the full conversation here:

Pianist Han Na Son, with whom the late Lu Lingzi studied at Boston University, opened the program with a performance of Chopin’s Nocturne in c minor, Opus 48, No. 1. (She returned later in the evening with Claude Debussy’s “Reflets dans l’eau” and Johannes Brahms’s Intermezzo, opus 118, No. 2.)

Tom then introduced the first of two panels to discuss the immediate effects of the Marathon bombings on the Boston community. This panel included:

Dr. Natalie Stavas, a resident at Children’s Hospital who was running the Marathon near the finish line when the explosions occurred. Despite a broken foot, she leapt over the barricades and rushed to provide first aid to the victims.

Daniel Linskey, superintendent-in-chief of the Boston Police Department, who supervised the department’s role in the investigation and was in the command post in Watertown during the manhunt that ended in one suspect’s death and the other’s arrest. (Read Linskey’s account of the bombings and the manhunt.)

Dr. Peter Burke, chief of trauma services at Boston Medical Center

Paul Grogan, president of The Boston Foundation

Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission

Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe columnist

The second panel, which broadened to discuss the larger implications and long-term effects of the bombings, featured:

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst

Imam Shuhaib Webb, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center

Rev. Ray Hammond, Bethel AME Church

Dr. Eli Newberger, author and pediatrician, Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital

Ayanna Pressley, Boston city councilor at-large


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