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: ‘We Should Politicize’ Mass Shootings, Obama Says

October 02, 2015

A clearly exasperated President Obama bemoaned the frequency of mass shootings in America.

Report Urges Reforms To Address Racial Disparities In Mass. Pretrial Detainees

September 29, 2015
(Jesse Costa/WBUR/File)

Counties across Massachusetts have large racial disparities in the composition of defendants who are awaiting trial in jail, the think tank MassINC finds.

Gov. Baker Announces Reforms For Embattled DCF

September 28, 2015
Gov. Charlie Baker, left, and Peter MacKinnon, DCF Chapter President of SEIU Local 509, speak about Baker's reforms on Monday. (Antonio Caban/State House News Service)

The reforms include a new intake process, a new supervisor policy and the reopening of the central Massachusetts regional DCF office.

Report Warns Of Boston’s High Inequality

September 22, 2015
Income inequality in Boston has widened considerably over the last dozen or so years, a new report finds. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

“We’re growing in a very bifurcated way,” Jessica Martin, of The Boston Foundation, told WBUR.

Quotation Of The Week: Addiction As A Disease

September 11, 2015

At the Substance Use Disorders Initiative at Mass General, treating addiction as a chronic condition is the norm.

Quotation Of The Week: Murder Charge Dropped Against Nanny

September 04, 2015

Aisling Brady McCarthy had been accused of killing a Cambridge 1-year-old in her care. The change came after the medical examiner altered the cause of death from “homicide” to “undetermined.”

Quotation Of The Week: Tsarnaev Juror Speaks

August 28, 2015

In an interview with WBUR, Kevan Fagan, 23, said he “probably” would have changed his death penalty vote had he known that the family of the slain Martin Richard and other victims’ families had written to authorities seeking a sentence of life in prison for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Report: Boston-Area Car Commuters Spent 64 Hours In Gridlock Last Year

August 26, 2015
The Boston area ranks sixth for gridlock-plagued commutes in 2014. Here's morning traffic on Route 1 into Boston in February. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The “congestion cost” per car commuter in the Boston area was nearly $1,400 last year, per the report.

Photos: Braves Field, Now BU’s Nickerson Field, Is 100

August 19, 2015
An aerial view of Braves Field in 1933 (Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection)

In August 1915, the Boston Braves moved into a brand new home: Braves Field. Now it’s Nickerson Field, where Terrier teams play.

Quotation Of The Week: Janis Joplin’s Final ‘Burst Onto The Stage’

August 14, 2015

Forty-five years ago this week — on Aug. 12, 1970 — Janis Joplin held her final concert. It was in front of an estimated 40,000 spectators at Harvard Stadium. She died two months later.

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

“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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