Kimberly Atkins Named First-Ever Washington-Based WBUR Newsroom Journalist

For the first time, WBUR will have its own Washington-based journalist: Kimberly Atkins joins the WBUR Newsroom as a senior correspondent on Monday, Feb. 4.  She will cover the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, politics and the federal government. Atkins has been Boston Herald Washington bureau chief since 2014.  She will continue her role as a contributor to MSNBC, providing on-air news analysis.

Atkins has had a distinguished career as a journalist, having been a host of C-Span’s Washington Journal from 2015-2018, the Washington bureau chief for Lawyers Weekly, the Daily Record and their sister newspapers from 2013-2014, a staff writer for Lawyers USA from 2007-2013, a political reporter in at earlier stint at the Boston Herald from 2004-2007, education reporter for the Journal News in suburban New York from 2003-2004 and a reporter for the Boston Globe from 2001-2003.  A licensed attorney, she was a litigation and appellate lawyer in Massachusetts from 1998-2000. In 2011, Atkins launched her own independent womenswear fashion design firm.

Atkins holds a master's degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Wayne State University. She also holds two degrees from Boston University, a Juris Doctor from the School of Law and a master's degree in Mass Communication from the College of Communication.

Lessons Learned: The Impact of Education

Jose Bou with his degree from Boston University, stands with Joann Mizell, who Bou says has been a mother figure in his life. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Jose Bou with his degree from Boston University, stands with Joann Mizell, who Bou says has been a mother figure in his life. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

WBUR's Edify introduces Lessons Learned, a year-long series exploring defining moments in education: when a teacher went the extra mile to connect, when a student shows a teacher a valuable lesson, or, perhaps, when a lesson about Maya Angelou or geometry opened up new worlds. Lessons Learned stories will be heard on WBUR's Morning Edition the fourth Monday of each month and online at wbur.org/edify.
Do you have a personal story of transformation, thanks to someone you talked to or something you experienced as part of your education? Send your story in an email  to edify@wbur.org or tag the team on Twitter @WBUREdify with the hashtag #LessonsLearned.

WBUR Celebrates The Opening Of Boston's New Home For Public Conversation, CitySpace

Digital rendering of WBUR's planned CitySpace. (Courtesy Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc.)
Digital rendering of WBUR's planned CitySpace. (Courtesy Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc.)

WBUR CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center Heralds Kick-Off
of ‘The Campaign for WBUR’ – The First-Ever Capital Campaign in WBUR History

On January 30, 2019, WBUR will celebrate the debut of CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center, representing a central pillar of a six-year $40 million capital campaign. Located at 890 Commonwealth Avenue on the Boston University campus, the new, state-of-the-art convening space offers an unparalleled venue to generate and foster public conversation, artistic performance, and cultural expression. CitySpace will officially open to the public on February 28.

“WBUR CitySpace at the newly dedicated Lavine Broadcast Center will be the home for public conversation in Boston,” said WBUR General Manager Charles Kravetz. “CitySpace brings the best of WBUR and NPR to life – it’s a destination where people can come together to engage in civic dialogue, to wrestle with big ideas, to be inspired, to be entertained, and to be educated on topics that impact our community and our lives. It’s a critical part of our strategic plan to transform WBUR from a ‘radio-centric’ resource into a multiplatform, multimedia organization serving the public on air, online, on demand, and on stage.”

To fulfill its strategic plan, WBUR is proud to announce the public phase of The Campaign for WBUR, the first-ever capital campaign in its 68-year history, which builds upon WBUR’s commitment to exceptional journalism and programming, deep civic engagement, and embracing the opportunities of the digital age.

The Campaign for WBUR supports three key investment areas: CitySpace; Expanding Journalism for Boston and the Nation; and Ensuring WBUR’s Future Through Innovation. Specific journalistic endeavors include increasing the current scope of the station’s environmental reporting, investigative journalism, arts and culture reporting, innovation economy reporting, and education reporting. This funding will also support local newsroom fellowships to hire and train the next generation of public media journalists. The innovation funding supports WBUR’s iLab, which focuses on content innovation, and BizLab, which works to ensure the sustainability of public radio in today’s ever-evolving media environment. At the heart of The Campaign for WBUR is an unrelenting focus on independent journalism.

Co-chairs for The Campaign for WBUR include William P. Collatos, Jonathan and Margot Davis, Paul and Patty Gannon, Howard and Fredericka Stevenson, and Corey and Anya Thomas. To date, more than $28 million of the $40 million goal has been raised, including a $5 million gift from Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine, the largest in WBUR’s history, which served as the anchor for the capital campaign and supported the creation of The Lavine Broadcast Center. Lead funders who have supported CitySpace include the Barr Foundation, Josh and Anita Bekenstein, The Davis Family Charitable Foundation, and The Gannon Family Foundation.

“We’re proud to support WBUR and CitySpace’s mission to promote vigorous, intelligent, and well-informed conversation about the most pressing issues facing our world, nation, and community,” said Jonathan Lavine. “It’s thrilling to be able to take an active role in helping advance true dialogue – something that is urgently needed in the current polarized environment. We hope CitySpace will contribute to the City of Boston’s reputation as a center of academic excellence and civil discourse, and serve as an important gathering place for years to come.”

WBUR serves 500,000 regional and 7 million national listeners every week and is one of the most widely consumed public radio stations in the country. With this additional investment from the community, WBUR will continue to increase the reach and accessibility of high-quality, fact-based journalism.

"The City of Boston is excited to welcome WBUR’s CitySpace, a convening space that will help bring diverse thinkers, innovators, and performers together to create an inclusive community for all that it serves," said Mayor Walsh. “This new space will act as an important public hub engaging our residents on issues that are shaping Boston and the country.”

CitySpace will expand how WBUR serves the citizens of Greater Boston with live events ranging from discussions, debates and lectures, to films, music, artistic performance, youth events, podcasts, and live radio broadcasts. Through CitySpace, WBUR seeks to serve up to 30,000 people annually.

Occupying 8,700 square feet, CitySpace is a high-tech performance space featuring an open, flexible seating plan that accommodates up to 275 guests with cutting-edge audio and robotic HD video technology for livestreaming and recording, robotically controlled theatrical lighting, a pneumatic stage, and a video presentation wall. CitySpace is designed by world-renowned architectural firm, CambridgeSeven, with acoustical and audio-visual design by Acentech Engineers, construction by Lee Kennedy Co, Inc., and project supervision by Boston University.

The full list of CitySpace events will be unveiled January 31 with tickets on sale to the public here. For more information about The Campaign for WBUR, please visit www.wbur.org/future.

The Annual Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize Competition Call For Entries

THE TOMORROW SHOW -- Pictured: Newsman Daniel Schorr during an interview on July 9, 1979 -- Photo by: Alan Singer/NBCU Photo Bank
THE TOMORROW SHOW -- Pictured: Newsman Daniel Schorr during an interview on July 9, 1979 -- Photo by: Alan Singer/NBCU Photo Bank

WBUR invites public radio journalists age 35 and under to submit entries for the annual Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize. Submissions should contribute to the audience’s understanding of a significant issue and demonstrate creativity and initiative while adhering scrupulously to the highest standards of journalism.

Eligible works will have been broadcast or published between Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2018. The $5,000 Schorr Prize – sponsored by WBUR and Boston University, and funded by Jim and Nancy Bildner – recognizes a rising star in public radio and seeks to inspire a new generation of journalists to stretch the boundaries of the medium. Complete guidelines are online at wbur.org.

The award is named for the late Daniel Schorr, who gave American journalism a lifetime of commitment through his insight, intelligence and integrity. Schorr believed strongly in supporting talented journalists as they rose through the ranks of public radio. The selected Schorr Prize winner will be honored at the WBUR Gala which takes place on April 22 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

The prize last year was awarded Wilson Sayre, previously a reporter at WLRN, Miami’s NPR member station. Sayre’s winning entry, “Cell 1: Florida’s Death Penalty In Limbo,” built a common understanding of what the death penalty entails in Florida following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2016 that threw the state’s death penalty into limbo - putting the death sentence on hold. At WLRN, Sayre spent almost two years researching the ins and outs of Florida’s death penalty and what being in limbo meant for the 384 people on Death Row in the state, their families and the victims’ families.

Past Schorr Prize winners also include Reporter Sarah Gonzalez (2016), now host and reporter with NPR’s Planet Money; Patrick Madden, now WAMU Senior Reporter (2015); Reporter Devin Katayama, now host of KQED’s The Bay podcast (2014); Becky Vevea, now WBEZ Political Reporter (2013); Colorado Public Radio reporter Grace Hood (2012); David Greene, now a Morning Edition host for NPR (2011); Ailsa Chang, now an All Things Considered host for NPR (2010); Chana Joffe-Walt, now producer/reporter for This American Life (2009); Guy Raz, now host of NPR shows “How I Built This,” “TED Radio Hour” and “Wow In the World” (2008); and NPR investigative correspondent Laura Sullivan (2007).

All entries must be received at or before 5 p.m. EST on Monday, March 4, 2019.

Submit your entry online here.

Shannon Dooling Selected for 2019 Fellowship by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation

It was announced today that Reporter Shannon Dooling was selected for a national health coverage fellowship. The news release from The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation is reprinted below:

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation today announced that thirteen medical journalists from across the nation have been selected for the 2019 class of the Health Coverage Fellowship.

The 2019 fellows are Lindsey Bever of The Washington Post, Larrison Campbell of Mississippi Today, Rhitu Chatterjee of NPR, Shannon Dooling of WBUR Radio in Boston, Dan Haar of Hearst CT Media, Emmarie Huetteman of Kaiser Health News, Vivien Leigh of WCSH-TV in Portland (ME), Jennifer Moore of KSMU-Ozarks Public Radio, Bonnie Petrie of Texas Public Radio, Alyssa Jeong Perry of KPCC-Southern California Public Radio, Sumathi Reddy of The Wall Street Journal, Ben Tinker of CNN, and Trent Spiner of The New Hampshire Union Leader.

The fellowship is designed to help the media improve its coverage of critical health care issues. It does that by bringing in as speakers more than 75 health officials, practitioners, researchers, and patients. It also brings the journalists out to watch first-hand how the system works, from walking the streets at night with mental health case workers to riding a Medflight helicopter or spending a morning in a crowded emergency room.

The program, which is entering its eighteenth year, is sponsored by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, with support from the Blue Shield of California Foundation, Bower Foundation in Mississippi, Connecticut Health Foundation, Endowment for Health in New Hampshire, Kaiser Family Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Maine Health Access Foundation, Missouri Foundation for Health, National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and, in Texas, the Episcopal Health Foundation, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, Methodist Healthcare Ministries, and St. David’s Foundation.

The fellowship will run for nine days, beginning April 26, 2019. It is housed at Babson College’s Center for Executive Education in Wellesley, MA. Larry Tye, who covered health and environmental issues at the Boston Globe for 15 years, directs the program. A former Nieman Fellow and author of eight books, Tye has taught journalism at Boston University, Northeastern, Tufts, and Harvard.

Next spring’s fellowship will focus on a series of pressing issues – from the ongoing fight over the future of Obamacare to curbing drug costs, addressing mental illness, redressing public health threats, and rethinking end-of-life issues. Attention also will be given to breakthroughs in medical treatments and innovations in the delivery of care.

The teaching will not end when fellows head back to their stations or papers. Tye, the program director, will be on call for the journalists for the full year following their nine days in Wellesley. He will help when they are stuck for ideas or whom to call on a story. He also will assist in thinking out projects and carving out clearer definitions of beats.

WBUR's BizLab Announces Public Media Stations Selected For Revenue Experiments For Sustainability In The Digital Age

WBUR is pleased to announce the public media stations selected to participate in BizLab’s initiative to design and conduct revenue experiments for public radio in the digital age. The project is funded with $750,000 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Each participating station will work with WBUR’s BizLab for six months, using lean, user-centered design methodologies to identify and test new sources of revenue for that station. By engaging audiences and quickly testing concepts in-market, each station will generate quantitative results to inform their near-term strategic investments. Collaborating stations will share results and best practices with each other and the broader public radio system.

The selected stations are:

- WAMU, American University Radio, Washington D.C.
- Louisville Public Media (WFPL, WFPK, WUOL), Louisville, KY
- Capital Public Radio, Sacramento, CA
- WLRN-FM, Public Radio for South Florida and the Florida Keys, Miami, FL
- Vermont Public Radio, Colchester, VT
- WDET-FM, Detroit’s Public Radio Station, Detroit, MI

“With the acquisition and relaunch of Washington’s popular digital news outlet DCist, WAMU has been experimenting with innovative revenue strategies that can sustain public media in the digital age,” said WAMU senior director of content and news Andi McDaniel. “The opportunity to work with WBUR and BizLab couldn’t be better aligned with where we are, and where we’re aiming to go—we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

“As media's role in people's lives changes, it's important we understand those changes — from a content perspective and a business one,” said Louisville Public Media president Stephen George. “That's why Louisville Public Media is thrilled to be part of this ambitious work to identify new sustainable revenue streams for our organization and public media in general."

These stations will be evaluating revenue models across a broad spectrum of ideas, looking at hyper-local versus state-wide engagement, small business partnerships versus corporate sponsorship arrangements, and digital-only membership versus in-person events. As the stations launch and learn, they will each share outcomes to benefit all public media stations seeking new revenue models.

For more information about the full scope of this initiative, please refer to this press release.

Find about more about BizLab here.

2018 Holiday Pops

Keith Lockhart conducts the Holiday Pops show. (Stu Rosner/Boston Pops)
Keith Lockhart conducts the Holiday Pops show. (Stu Rosner/Boston Pops)

Robin Young, co-host of Here & Now and Meghna Chakrabarti, host of On Point, will narrate Clement Clarke Moore’s classic “A Visit from St. Nicholas (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas) at the December 20 and 22  Holiday Pops, a performance filled with holiday music favorites, the traditional Pops sing-along, and a visit from Santa Claus himself!

Started in 1973 by Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler, this concert takes place in the magical atmosphere of world-famous Symphony Hall that is beautifully decorated to evoke all the magic and charm of the season.

Click here to purchase tickets for Robin Young’s performance on 12/20.


Click here to purchase tickets for Meghna Charkrabarti’s performance on 12/22 .
Event Location
Symphony Hall
301 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA


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WBUR, The New York Times And Huntington Theatre Company Present 'Modern Love Live: A Special Valentine’s Event'

WBUR and The New York Times, in partnership with the Huntington Theatre Company, are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special live performance of Modern Love: The Podcast. Hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti (host of Modern Love: The Podcast as well as NPR & WBUR’s On Point) with Daniel Jones (editor of the NYT “Modern Love” column), the event will be a live recording of the hit podcast featuring three Modern Love essays read by top actors from stage and screen including William Jackson Harper from television's The Good Place. It will also feature a live musical performance. Modern Love Live will take place on Sat., Feb. 16, 2019 at 8 p.m. at the Huntington Avenue Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave. Tickets go on sale to the general public Thursday, Dec. 20. Prices start at $25.

Modern Love: The Podcast transforms the popular reader-submitted NYT Modern Love essays into an immersive weekly podcast experience that takes listeners on an audio journey, bringing the poignant, honest and hopeful stories to life. Each episode features a reading performed by actors, combined with music and an intricately produced soundscape.

Exploring the joys and tribulations of love, Modern Love: The Podcast debuted at #1 on the iTunes chart. The podcast launched on Jan. 21, 2016. Since then, more than 100 top actors have read for the podcast, including Kate Winslet, Uma Thurman, Sandra Oh, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sterling K. Brown, Stanley Tucci, Angela Bassett, Michelle Rodriguez, Willem Dafoe, Kristen Bell, Issa Rae, Olivia Munn, and Sarah Silverman.