WBUR And StoryCorps Team Up For The Great Thanksgiving Listen!

WBUR is teaming up with StoryCorps, asking teachers to invite their students to record an interview with an elder as part of The Great Thanksgiving Listen. This national project encourages young people to seek the wisdom of elders - grandparents, aunts and uncles or other mentors - and preserve their stories for themselves and for history. Participants can ask about who they are, what they’ve learned in life, and how they want to be remembered.

Dave Isay, Founder of StoryCorps, says, “Students will come away from the project not only knowing more about the important people in their lives, but also having experienced first-hand the power of listening to bring people together.”

The Great Thanksgiving Listen has grown from an experimental challenge into a vital intergenerational movement. Interviews become part of the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Thousands of high schools from all 50 states have participated and preserved more than 100,000 interviews. While aimed at young people, anyone with a smartphone and an interest in storytelling can create a unique oral history with an elder or any loved one.

Learn more at WBUR.org/edify, WBUR’s home for education news.

Celebrate the Holidays with Kind World Stories

This holiday season, WBUR gives listeners the gift of kindness with a new season of Kind World.

Through stories big and small, Kind World explores the effect one act can have on a life, to better understand each other and ourselves. Stories will air on Morning Edition (5 a.m. – 9 a.m.) every Tuesday now through the end of 2018.

Kind World has won multiple awards, including the Sigma Delta Chi and the national Edward R. Murrow Award for feature reporting. Kind World was born as an online experiment in 2012 when the idea was proposed to WBUR’s iLab, the station’s incubator for new projects.

Listeners can share their own stories and thoughts on the series on Facebook and Twitter or by email at kindworld@wbur.org.

Here & Now Marks Five Years Since Expanding To Two Hours As Public Radio’s Midday Program

Five years ago, WBUR and NPR began a partnership to air an expanded, two-hour Here & Now to more than 300 NPR member stations across the country to meet growing audience demand for midday news and analysis. Here & Now has doubled its audience since 2013 and is now carried on 472 NPR member stations across the country, reaching an estimated 5.2 million weekly listeners.
To mark the fifth anniversary of Here & Now, WBUR unveiled a brand-new, state-of-the-art studio for the national, midday, public radio newsmagazine. The 1,100-square-foot space located at WBUR’s headquarters in Boston features two control rooms and two studio spaces to accommodate the needs of the ever-expanding daily two-hour show co-hosted by award-winning journalists Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson.
“We are so pleased to mark the occasion of Here & Now’s partnership with NPR and ever-expanding growth with a new studio,” said WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz. “The new studio signifies WBUR’s commitment to journalism serving national and local audiences alike on the air and on de-mand. It’s truly remarkable to see how far the show has come since it began in 1997 as a one-hour program, and we’re looking forward to seeing its continued evolution.”
Here & Now’s audience has grown 18% in the Boston area (WBUR) over the past year. Featuring time-ly, smart and in-depth news, interviews and conversation, Here & Now continues to see rapid expan-sion in markets such as Austin (KUT), Atlanta (WABE), Detroit (WUOM) and Portland (KOPB), ranging from 19-39% growth in the past year (Source: ACT 1, Nielsen Audio Nationwide, Spring 2017-Spring 2018).
The Here & Now studio is the first new studio at WBUR in more than 20 years. In addition to the two control rooms and two studio booths, it has a 4K capable camera system integrated into the larger stu-dio booth as well as extensive sound and vibration mitigation installed in the floors, ceilings and walls. The construction and design team of the new Here & Now studio was comprised of Russ Berger Design Group, KSID Architecture and Design and ZVI Construction.
Here & Now is made possible with special funding from Geico and MathWorks.

Message From On Point's David Folkenflik

I am based this week at the University of Wisconsin at Madison's Center for Journalism Ethics, as its journalist in residence. It's been a lively and stimulating week, as I've alternated between grillings by students and faculty and following this week's elections. The questions have ranged from the very practical to the very profound - and I've been struck by the range and sophistication of the ambitions people have here.

I've also been meeting with people from related outfits- the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Reporting, and our colleagues at Wisconsin Public Radio. (All are housed in the same building on campus, Vilas Hall.) Madison is a vibrant and beautiful city; we're taking advantage of my presence here to broadcast from Wisconsin Public Radio. Our focus will have local, regional and national importance. In our Hour One roundtable, we'll dissect the mid-term elections, what it means for the country and the presidency, including the loss of two-term Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to state Schools Superintendent Tony Evers. And in Hour Two, we'll look at the Great Lakes – one of the world's largest bodies of freshwater. The Great Lakes have captured the imagination of many of the 40 million people who live around it. It is also in incredible peril for its health - in large part due to a series of decisions made by humans to try to harness it for commerce, sport, and water. The back story involves small exotic mussels and giant Asian carp. We'll be talking to one of the nation's greatest experts on the topic, a reporter whose beat is covering the lakes for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and who has literally written the book on the subject.

WBUR Has A Potential New Show In The Works — And We Need Your Tech Support!

WBUR is working on a potential new show — and we need your help! Your tech support, rather. Think about all the vexing questions you have shouted at inanimate objects or wondered with curiosity — even panic — as you dealt with problems with tech — new and old.

Examples of great questions include, but are not limited to …

  • Why can't I get my wi-fi to work unless I'm 6 inches from the router?
  • How low of a tip can I give an Uber or Lyft driver before I'm seen as cheap?
  • Is Alexa telling the whole world I'm searching for “Melrose Place” reruns?
  • What's the best way to tell my friends I just don’t want them to have my Netflix and HBO passwords?
  • I know way too much about my aunt's life now. Should I delete my Facebook?
  • What if I'm the one in the office who accidentally clicked on the phishing email?
  • How can I know which dating app is, you know, the one?

If you need emotional and human support for your tech issues, WBUR is here for you.

Now, here's how to get us your inquiries. Leave us a detailed voicemail at 617-917-4717. Yes, you read that right. We want you to *call* us. We are a radio station, after all.

Make sure to give us your name and location, how to get back in touch with you, and your tech-related life question. And we just might be able to help you. Or at least commiserate.

Here And Now... And Europe!

Here & Now will broadcast from the BBC studios in London on November 14th and 15th.

The clock is ticking toward Brexit. In March 2019, the acrimonious breakup between the UK and the European Union will be complete. But leaders on both sides still haven’t agreed to the terms of that divorce. And with just a few months to go, huge questions about trade, security and immigration are still unresolved. A team from Here & Now will answer these questions with a special overseas broadcast. WBUR will air the program for two days – November 14 and 15 – from the BBC studios in London. The team will report from Northern Ireland, where people and businesses worry about the return to a hard border with the Republic of Ireland. They’ll travel to Paris to get the view from Europe. And, of course, the team will talk with the British people, members of parliament and other newsmakers, about the future of their country. In true Here & Now style, they’ll get a taste of everyday life in these places along the way. How crowded is the London Underground these days, anyway? Who makes the best croissant in France? Stay tuned.

WBUR's BizLab Receives Funding From Knight Foundation For Multi-Station Revenue Experiments For Sustainability In The Digital Age

WBUR, is pleased to announce it has received $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in support of BizLab’s collaboration with public media stations to design and conduct revenue experiments for public radio in the digital age. This brings the total investment in the initiative to $1 million with the previously announced $750,000 provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

BizLab will lead WBUR and six additional public media stations in identifing and evaluating revenue concepts in-market and together share their collective learnings across the network of stations. The open call was announced on October 1, 2018, and, given the popular demand, the deadline was extended to October 31, 2018. Numerous stations spanning the country applied to participate and represent a diversity of organizations based on geography, size and audience.

“This significant funding from Knight Foundation will bolster our efforts to find new revenue concepts for the public media ecosystem,” said BizLab executive director Joan DiMicco. “We are truly encouraged by the enthusiasm of our station colleagues and the number and variety of submissions we received for this initiative. We look forward to reviewing each application.”

With this additional support from Knight Foundation, BizLab is even better-positioned to help solve a system-wide challenge: understanding the local listener and engaging them in supporting excellent journalism.

“The way people consume news and information continues to transform at an accelerated pace,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism. “As listeners increasingly turn to digital and on-demand methods to access news, it’s critical for public radio stations to collaborate and exercise new strategies that bolster audience retention, engagement and support.”

Each participating station will work with 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.

Selected stations will be chosen from different markets, varied by station size, population and geography. Winners will be announced Fall 2018 and collaborations will commence in January 2019. Click here for more information.

Pedro Martinez Foundation Celebrates With Third Annual Gala Supporting At-Risk Youth

Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, Red Sox legend and MLB Network and TBS analyst Pedro Martinez and Pedro Martinez Foundation Executive Director Carolina Martinez will welcome some of the biggest names in baseball and Boston sports to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on November 2nd for the Third Annual Pedro Martinez Foundation Gala. The event will raise funds to support the children and families served by the Pedro Martinez Foundation in the Dominican Republic and the United States.

Fans and attendees can expect to meet not only Pedro, but Mayor Marty Walsh and Red Sox Manager Alex Cora along with some of the 2018 World Series Champions. With more names getting locked in every day, below are just some of the professional athletes and star already confirmed to attend:

• Red Sox World Series Champion Manager Alex Cora
• Red Sox World Series Champion Eduardo Rodriguez
• Red Sox World Series Champion Sandy Leon
• Red Sox World Series Champion Eduardo Nunez
• Red Sox World Series Champion Christian Vazquez
• Red Sox Captain Jason Varitek (2x World Series Champion)
• New York Yankees’ Luis Severino (2x All Star)
• New York Yankees’ Dellin Betances (4x All Star)
• Cleveland Indians’ Corey Kluber (3x All Star; 2x AL Cy Young Winner)
• Cleveland Indians’ Danny Salazar (1x All Star)
• St. Louis Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez (2x All Star)
• St. Louis Cardinals’ Marcell Ozuna (2x All Star)
• NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins (Boston Celtics ’94 – ’95; 9x All Star)
• 2017 World Series Champion Carlos Beltran (9x All Star, ’99 AL Rookie of the Year)
• Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras

Pedro and Carolina Martinez will celebrate with a night of baseball past and present, food and drink, and a silent auction in support of the Pedro Martinez Foundation at the Third Annual Pedro Martinez Foundation Gala. The Gala will raise funds to expand the number of children and families supported by the Foundation, with 100% of the profits from donations will go straight to the kids we help in Latin America and the United States.

Tickets for the Third Annual Pedro Martinez Foundation Gala can be purchased here.

At last year’s Gala, the Foundation announced the intention to build a Charter School in
the Dominican Republic to expand ongoing efforts for children who need help the most. We’re excited to announce that we’ve broken ground and construction has begun! The Foundation needs support now more than ever so it can complete this important project and run all initiatives year-round. The Dominican government has signed on as a partner and will match all funding for the Charter School, so every dollar we raise makes that much more of an impact.

The Pedro Martinez Foundation is devoted to transforming the lives of children through holistic education and social services, currently supporting thousands of children in the United States and the Dominican Republic. The Foundation has positively impacted over 10,000 children and families, including awarding over 4,800 grants and scholarships for teenagers, young adults, and parents to go to college or go to school for a technical trade. At the Pedro Martinez Foundation Community Center in Santo Domingo, the Foundation provides nutrition counseling, medical and dental care, career training, parenting workshops, day care programs, social services, a computer lab, sports classes and job placement for more than 1,000 children.

"Last Seen" Surpasses 1 Million Downloads In Less Than Three Weeks

Last Seen, the weekly true-crime podcast produced by WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, and The Boston Globe, has surpassed one million downloads in its first three weeks. Debuting at #3 on Apple Podcasts on September 17, Last Seen examines the most valuable and confounding art heist in history: the theft of 13 artworks, including Rembrandt’s only seascape, from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

“We are thrilled by the enthusiastic response to Last Seen,” said Iris Adler, Executive Director for Programming, Podcasts and Special Projects at WBUR. “Twenty-eight years later, this unsolved crime exerts an irresistible curiosity for young listeners just learning about the heist for the first time while those who know about the theft report learning new information from the deep reporting in the first few episodes.”

Last Seen is hosted by WBUR’s award-winning producers and reporters Kelly Horan and Jack Rodolico, and with exclusive contributions from Boston Globe’s Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Stephen Kurkjian, author of “Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Pulled Off the World’s Greatest Art Heist.” The producers have obtained unprecedented access to case files, first-ever interviews.

The 10-episode series is the result of a year of investigative reporting to unravel the crime’s many mysteries. New weekly episodes are available every Monday to stream or download on Apple Podcasts. The podcast, along with supporting documentation, photographs and additional reporting are published online at bostonglobe.com/lastseen and wbur.org/lastseen.

Last Seen is sponsored by ADT and Samuel Adams. To attend a live podcast taping, learn more here. Listen to Last Seen now on Apple Podcasts