innovating for the future of public radio.

The iLab is a new project at WBUR. The iLab is the center for innovation, imagination, and ideas — a place to experiment with new sounds, programs, and platforms. Find out what we're working on, and let us know what you think.

Lisa Tobin is innovation producer at WBUR. Email her at

Major funding provided by Biogen

Finish Line

Video-Assets (2)

Finish Line: Inside The Boston Marathon Bombing Trial is a podcast covering the 2015 federal death penalty trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the admitted bomber. A co-production of WBUR and The Boston Globe, Finish Line is hosted by WBUR reporter David Boeri and Globe columnist Kevin Cullen, who are at the courthouse for every day of the months-long trial. Their recaps of what they’ve seen and heard at the end of their days in court offer access and perspective to the trial that can’t be found anywhere else.

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Dear Sugar


The universe has good news for the lost, lonely, and heartsick. Dear Sugar — the cult-favorite advice column — is back as a new podcast from WBUR. Hosted by the original Sugars, the best-selling authors Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, the show fields all your questions — no matter how deep or dark — and offers radical empathy in return. If you have a question for Sugar, email Tell the truest version of your story you can bear to tell. Dear Sugar is produced by Lisa Tobin. New episodes are weekly beginning January 2015.

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The Remembrance Project

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Alongside the famous deaths in the obituaries, there are the small print columns about the equally loved but lesser-known. Ordinary people who have lived extraordinary lives. Elissa Ely reads between the lines, finding men and women around New England whose stories should not go untold – the lives of those among us. The stories air Tuesdays on Radio Boston and Wednesdays on Morning Edition. The Remembrance Project is produced by the iLab’s Lisa Tobin. Nominate a loved one by emailing

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You’re The Expert

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You’re The Expert is a live show and radio program that uses comedy to make academic research more accessible and exciting. Hosted and produced by Chris Duffy and presented by WBUR, each show features an expert in a specialized field and three comedians who try to figure out and understand what this expert studies all day. It’s funny, it’s interactive, and you end up actually learning something.

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Listen Up

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Listen Up is exploring a different way of experiencing audio — together, in the dark. Our first listening event — held in the Institute of Contemporary Art’s stunning theater looking out on Boston Harbor — featured a selection of exceptional audio stories from around the public radio sphere. The theme of the evening was the power of the human voice. The host of the evening was On Point’s Tom Ashbrook, with very special guest Robert Krulwich of Radiolab. The iLab’s Lisa Tobin is the producer of Listen Up. PRX is our partner.

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Stylus is an experimental documentary series about sound, music, and listening. Over the course of three months, Stylus explores three topics in sound: Seeing and Illustrating Music, Songs of the Earth, and the Sounds of Science Fiction. Each theme is examined through audio, video, images, art, essays, reporting, and wherever else curiosity leads. Stylus is produced by Conor Gillies, Zack Ezor, and Lisa Tobin.

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Portraits Of Boston

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Portraits Of Boston is a project of independent photographer Ivan Velinov. He spends his days walking the streets of Boston, having conversations with the people he meets and taking beautiful portraits. His questions can be disarming, and the results are often surprising and touching. The iLab has partnered with Velinov to share a daily portrait on WBUR’s arts and culture site, The Artery.

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Kind World

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Kind World celebrates the kindness of strangers and the significance our actions can have on the lives of others. Stories air Thursdays on Morning Edition. Kind World is produced by Zack Ezor, Lisa Tobin, and Nate Goldman. We are always looking for stories of kindness, small or large, so please be in touch if you have one to share. Email

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Bulger On Trial


Bulger On Trial was the second major project to come out of the iLab’s program incubator. As the trial of James “Whitey” Bulger approached, WBUR set out to create the definitive digital guide to Boston’s most notorious gangster, bringing together historical context and perspective with minute-by-minute coverage and analysis from the courthouse. Bulger On Trial was reported by WBUR’s David Boeri, who has been covering the story for three decades, and produced by WBUR’s Lisa Tobin, in partnership with The Atavist.

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Off The Record


Off The Record is an experimental video and audio project, featuring national and local artists performing in random locations around the Boston area — from the courtyard of the Boston Public Library to the basement of an Elks Lodge in Central Square. Off The Record is produced by WBUR technical director John Perotti and multimedia producer Jesse Costa.

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Generation Stuck


Generation Stuck was the first project to come out of the iLab’s program incubator, an internal fellowship that gives WBUR journalists with a winning idea the opportunity to take some time away from their daily work. Social media producer Nate Goldman was the first recipient of the fellowship, for Generation Stuck, a multimedia documentary project that explored the lives of local twenty-somethings in the down economy. Generation Stuck was co-produced by WBUR’s Lisa Tobin, with design and development by Upstatement.

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