innovating for the future of public radio.

WBUR is a proven birthplace of new ideas, new talent and new programs. The station has a rich history of innovation, starting in 1977 with Car Talk, followed by ground-breaking programs such as Here and Now, Only a Game and On Point.

Now in the digital age, we are committed to a creative era of reinvention. We will continue to explore and to incubate new programs and the WBUR iLab lies at the heart of this commitment. It is our center of innovation, imagination and ideas – a space to work out new concepts, new sound, new revenue streams and new programs and platforms, a space to embrace the enormous possibilities of the digital age.

Here we will take thoughtful risks, exploring new content and new ideas, investing in the new voices and thinkers who will create the next generation of content for public radio.

Major funding provided by Biogen

Dear Sugar Radio

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The universe has good news for the lost, lonely, and heartsick. Dear Sugar — the cult-favorite advice column — is back as a weekly 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 dearsugarradio@gmail.com. Tell the truest version of your story you can bear to tell. Dear Sugar Radio is produced by Lisa Tobin.

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The ARTery

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The ARTery is the destination for news on Boston’s arts and culture scene. The website continues and expands WBUR’s commitment to covering the richness of New England’s arts offerings, from Symphony Hall or the Museum of Fine Arts to the Honk Festival in Davis Square or an exciting new hip-hop group. Former Boston Globe television and theater critic Ed Siegel is The ARTery’s critic at large, and arts writer Greg Cook (an artist in his own right) files regular reviews, features and news stories. They’re joined by a wonderful group of contributors.

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Cognoscenti

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Boston is a city of thinkers. Of innovators. Of opinion makers and thought leaders. The intellectual capital of the country. WBUR is tapping into this extraordinary community — gathering a distinguished group of contributors who share their best ideas and most insightful perspectives on Cognoscenti, our ideas and opinion page. Cognoscenti is produced and edited by Frannie Carr Toth and Kelly Horan.

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WBUR’s Bookshelf

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All of WBUR’s books coverage, in one place. Here at WBUR, dozens of books cross our desks each week. In 2014 alone we covered more than 250 books on air and online. WBUR’s Bookshelf brings all that coverage together, showcasing the latest book conversations, recommendations and reviews. You can filter by the type of books you’re interested in, and if you want to hear more about a particular book, you can connect from the Bookshelf to the original WBUR coverage.

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Learning Lab

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Learning Lab reports on innovation and reform in education. Part of WBUR’s education coverage, Learning Lab is interested in what experiments are happening in Massachusetts K-12 schools, what is being learned and who is behind them — with a goal to understand how Massachusetts students will be learning in the years ahead.

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The Checkup

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The Checkup is a health podcast co-hosted by WBUR’s Carey Goldberg and Rachel Zimmerman, and produced in partnership with Slate. Each week, the Checkup features a difference topic in health — from college mental health to sex problems to vaccine issues. Goldberg and Zimmerman are also the hosts of WBUR’s popular health and health-care website, CommonHealth.

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Finish Line

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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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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 remember@wbur.org.

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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

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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 kindworld@wbur.org.

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Bulger On Trial

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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

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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

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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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