Zeninjor Enwemeka Of WBUR's Bostonomix To Join The Former Fellows Panel At NEFAI 2019

From Sept. 22 - 24, journalists from around New England will gather at Northeastern University in Boston to learn about public records and the latest investigative and database reporting techniques at The New England First Amendment Institute 2019 (NEFAI). Our very own Zeninjor Enwemeka, a reporter on WBUR’s Bostonomix team, will be attending the Former Fellows Panel at the institute on Sept. 23.

Zeninjor Enwemeka/WBUR
Zeninjor Enwemeka/WBUR

Enwemeka was a NEFAI Fellow in 2016, chosen by the New England First Amendment Coalition (NEFAC)—a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of transparency in a democratic society. NEFAI is open each year to 25 New England journalists, providing support and training to become well-versed in the freedom of information laws and accomplished investigative reporters.

As a former fellow, Enwemeka will join former institute fellows who will share their experiences post-NEFAI and explain how to best use the skills learned during the program.

The panel is from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Sept. 23.

More about Zeninjor Enwemeka: Before joining WBUR, she worked at The Boston Globe as a breaking news writer for Boston.com. She also spent several years as a news/homepage producer for the website. Zeninjor was part of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning team for The Boston Globe's breaking news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings.

She was also an adjunct lecturer at Boston University, where she taught a class on multimedia and online journalism. Zeninjor is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She serves as vice president of the Boston Association of Black Journalists.

Q&A With Tonya Mosley, 'Here & Now’s' New Third Co-Host

On Aug. 9, Tonya Mosley started the next chapter of her career as the new third co-host of Here & Now — the weekday news and talk program distributed on more than 475 NPR stations nationwide. We talk to her about her podcast "Truth Be Told," her vision for Here & Now and more.

What excites you about the opportunity to join Here & Now? 

Here & Now is the midday show where we learn about the news as it happens, and our goal is to provide context, understanding, information and occasionally, a bit of whimsy. Robin Young, my co-host, said something funny the other day: Morning Edition is basically putting the boat out in the harbor. We, at Here & Now, are rowing the boat thru the waters and All Things Considered, is bringing the boat in. This is a powerful analogy, because not only are we taking listeners through the news as it happens, we are providing order and understanding of what’s happening all around us, and to us. We don’t want listeners to feel like they are on a bumpy ride. We want them to walk away armed with the facts they need to make sense of the world.

Tonya Mosley (Courtesy: Liz Linder for WBUR)
Tonya Mosley (Courtesy: Liz Linder for WBUR)

On a personal level, I am excited because I am just an unbelievably nosy and curious person—if I wasn't a journalist I would be a private investigator or detective. I am always digging! So the personal fulfillment for doing this show, are a couple of things: 1) I can fulfill my innate curiosity about the world and serve as a proxy to the listeners, holding truth to power. 2) I can share with people different insights to help keep them informed. Everybody has a purpose in this world and I believe mine is to shed light in dark spaces.

What story that you’ve reported on in the last few years has shaped you as a journalist, and how?

It’s very hard to quantify this because I’ve reported on many stories over the years but the stories that mean the most to me are the ones that have not only directly impacted people’s lives but also the stories that have made a change for the greater good of society.

Several years ago I followed young transgender children as they were coming into their identities and it was at a time when we weren’t having these discussions. I felt proud that I was part of this process of helping people understand what this was, to have a language for it... put a name to it. I learned so much and heard from so many viewers—I was on television then—who were saying “oh, now I kind of get it or now I understand it or thank you for shedding light on this”.

At a time before marijuana was decriminalized in many states, I did an investigation in the state of Washington which took a look at how easy it was for people to obtain medical marijuana prescriptions. Because of my reporting, the state passed a measure which secured loopholes making it harder for people who were trying to get those prescriptions. A few years later the state of Washington decriminalized marijuana all together but this investigation showcased the power of media, sometimes our stories can be a driving force in changing laws.

Truth Be Told is an advice podcast, by and for people of color. Can you share insights or lessons from hosting Truth Be Told that will be valuable to your success in hosting a newsmagazine like Here & Now?

Truth Be Told is a podcast that was created solely through insights from listeners. My producers and I held listening sessions where we asked listeners of public radio what they wanted from an advice podcast. Based on listener insights, we created a show that tackled some of the most pressing issues people of color face in this country.

Of course, in season one we only scratched the surface, “people of color” is an umbrella term, and it doesn’t even come close to scratching the surface of the complexities of experiences and identity. But what Truth Be Told has done is to begin to have discussions that are rooted in truth and value for the listener. The experience of producing and hosting Truth Be Told has deepened my mission at Here & Now to elevate voices we’ve never heard before, and shed light and nuance - sometimes issues aren’t simply black and white, for and against. Conversation allows us to unpack this reality.

At the core of its mission, public radio is meant to push us beyond our bubble, so that we have a deeper understanding of the world and ourselves.

Tonya Mosley, co-host of Here & Now

In the current media landscape, what makes Here & Now special?

Here & Now has a dedicated audience—the ears of a lot of people in the United States who listen to public radio—these are typically individuals who are good people, who want to make a change, who want to be informed. That's why I think it's such a privilege and a special show because I get to talk to people who want to learn, who want to know more about the world and want to contribute.

How has covering Silicon Valley (Bureau Chief, KQED) these last few years prepared you for this job?

During my time as the Silicon Valley bureau chief, I led a team covering technology and its impact on society. Technology is vast, wide, deep and complex. Collectively we are taking a more critical view of the role technology plays in society. As bureau chief, I was in charge of setting the tone and direction of our coverage. This leadership role prepared me for the fast-paced nature of Here & Now, where hosts work with producers throughout the day to set the direction of coverage. This role requires a deep news sense, an understanding of complex topics and the ability to learn very quickly the things you don’t know.

Broadening beyond my time in Silicon Valley, I’d also say my entire career has led me to host Here & Now. For the last 20+ years, I’ve had to become a quick study, covering everything from aviation to immigration, technology, science, religion, crime, law...the list goes on and on. I’ve been a television producer, reporter, anchor and manager. If you were to roll all of these positions together, you’d produce “host” for a show like Here & Now.

Tell us about your time at WBUR as a reporter...

I was the senior education reporter for WBUR’s Edify, which is still the place you go to for education coverage across Boston and beyond. Being on the education beat was an amazing experience because Boston has such a rich history when it comes to education. Not only are there a host of colleges and universities that make up this area but the foundation of public education as we know it started here.

During my time with Edify, I took a look at what’s working and what’s not. It was a phenomenal and enriching experience. Doing this work with all of these phenomenal colleagues is probably the reason why I think I’m back!

What’s your pitch to new listeners about why they should listen to Here & Now?

For new listeners, I think you should tune in to what is already a stellar program. Every day, these excellent journalists and the Here & Now staff scour news events throughout the world, they are toiling through stories and they take seriously the essential information that people need to know.

As we continue, you'll be able to hear a broader scope of voices from the west. You'll be able to hear the enriching discussions you’re used to, but also as a three-host team you’ll hear us out in the field, on the ground more. This will allow us to travel the nation, hear stories from people and share greater insights on the places we've heard about but never really been.

Where do you think mainstream media is headed? Are there any upsides?

There are so many places now that people can go to, to get their news. We have to rethink our role as journalists and factor in what people want. We have to listen to our audiences. If they are telling us there is a certain way they want to consume our news, we have to give it to them that way. There may be a future where folks say we don't want to have a radio host talking to us. We have to be nimble enough to say “Well, what is our role?”

To be a true journalist is to adapt to the ways people need the information and so that's where I see the landscape moving to. Back in the day, we told people what's important but now it is just as important for us to listen to what people are telling us is important. Balancing this is like walking a tightrope, our number one role is to be factual and fair, while also providing people with essential information about what’s happening in the world, the way they want it.

Co-hosted by award-winning journalists Robin YoungJeremy Hobson and Tonya Mosley, Here & Now's daily lineup includes interviews with newsmakers, NPR reporters and contributors, plus innovators and artists from across the U.S. and around the globe.

Live On WBUR, Mon – Fri, 12–2 p.m. ET

Get Tickets: The ARTery's Massachusetts Favorite Of The Tiny Desk Concert With Frances Forever!

The internet exploded after Lizzo’s Tiny Desk performance for NPR Music two weeks ago… and just imagine: the next Lizzo could be from right here in Massachusetts. The ARTery, WBUR’s arts and culture team, gathered entries of all the local musicians who entered NPR Music’s 2019 Tiny Desk Contest. Out of 254 submissions, the panel of judges selected Frances Forever for her band’s disarming performance of the song “Space Girl.”

“Frances Forever’s video quickly stood out. In the end, our panelists agreed that ‘Space Girl’ had all the ingredients of a great song: an indelible melody, an original conceit, lyrics that hang together,” said Amelia Mason, music critic for The ARTery and a judge of the contest. “Her songs are reminiscent of the smart bedroom pop of peers like Sidney Gish and Clairo, cheerful-sounding ditties that belie more complicated emotions: sadness, longing, resentment.”

As the local favorite, Frances Forever will perform a special concert at WBUR CitySpace at the Lavine Broadcast Center on Friday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. One of The ARTery’s other favorite submissions this year — hip-hop artists All The Time Always — will open for Frances Forever at the show. The concert is co-presented by WERS 88.9FM with community support from Newbury Comics, DigBoston, KillerBoomBox and The Record Company.

Panelists for The ARTery’s favorite Tiny Desk Contest entry from Massachusetts included Mason, musicians Akrobatik and Mark Erelli, Allston Pudding editor-in-chief Christine Varriale and ARTery arts engagement producer Arielle Gray. Last year’s local favorite winner was Anjimile, a Boston-based singer-songwriter with an exquisite sound and a growing fanbase.

NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest debuted in 2014 and is a national competition offering unsigned artists a shot at performing on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk concert series. Of the thousands of eligible entries from the 2019 contest, 254 were from Massachusetts. Alaska-based musician Quinn Christopherson was the national Tiny Desk winner selected by a panel of judges at NPR Music.

About Frances Forever

Frances Forever is the musical project of Frances Garrett, a 20-year old student at Clark University whose family lives in Melrose. She has been performing as Frances Forever – a play on her first name and the song “Francis Forever” by Mitski – for less than a year. Frances Forever has self-released an EP called “Pockets” and two singles.

Read Garrett's profile written by our arts and culture reporter, Amelia Mason, here.

The ARTery's Mass. Favorite Of The Tiny Desk” Concert: Friday, Aug. 23, 7 p.m. at CitySpace; $10 general admission or $5 for students.

Buy tickets here

Esquire Magazine Names "Only A Game" A Top Sports Podcast

"Only A Game" featured on Esquire Magazine's 15 top best sports podcasts of 2019 (Courtesy: Esquire Magazine)
"Only A Game" featured on Esquire Magazine's 15 top best sports podcasts of 2019 (Courtesy: Esquire Magazine)

Score! Only A Game made the list. Esquire Magazine released its list of the top 15 best sports podcasts of 2019. Esquire editors wrote: "NPR's weekly sports magazine, Only A Game, delves into unknown narratives of sports history, ranging anywhere from anecdotes of athletes' personal lives to obscure histories like the creation of Pickleball. Think 30 for 30 meets This American Life, or The Moth if the open mic were at the ESPYs. You get the point. It's sports-but-make-it-NPR, vocal fry and all."

Click here for the full list. Listen to Only A Game on WBUR Saturdays at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and the podcast anytime on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

And if you're looking for that Pickleball story, you can find it here.

Beth Healy Joins WBUR’s New Investigative Team

WBUR’s newly created investigative unit gains Beth Healy as senior investigative reporter this summer. Healy joins the WBUR team established by Christine Willmsen earlier this year, and funded by The Campaign for WBUR.

Beth Healy (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Beth Healy (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Healy comes to WBUR after 19 years at The Boston Globe, where she was a member of the award-winning Spotlight Team from 2017 to 2019 and 2004 to 2008. While there, she was part of the six-part investigative series and podcast, "Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc.," based on the life and death of the NFL star — a finalist for IRE’s Award for Sports Investigations. She was also on the team that wrote "Debtors’ Hell," a Pulitzer finalist.

While at the Globe, she worked in the business section for nearly a decade covering the financial beat and reporting on major stories such as the financial crisis and numerous frauds. She also investigated the transit system’s pension fund and the abuse of immigrant domestic workers, among other stories.

Before the Globe, Healy held reporting roles at the Boston Herald, Crain’s Chicago Business and The Boston Business Journal, and made numerous radio appearances on WBUR, NPR and other stations.

Contact Healy: bhealy1@wbur.org

To learn more about the investigative unit, read more here.

Modern Love: The Podcast To Debut As An Amazon Series

Modern Love: The Podcast adds new dimension to the popular New York Times column.
Modern Love: The Podcast adds new dimension to the popular New York Times column.

From Entertainment Weekly:

Love is in the air for Anne HathawayTina FeyAndy Garcia, and approximately 2,467 more celebs.

Those three — along with Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Gary Carr (Downton Abbey), Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One), Brandon Victor Dixon (Power), John Gallagher, Jr. (The Newsroom), Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Eleven), Julia Garner (Ozark), Catherine Keener (Get Out), Cristin Milioti (Black Mirror), Dev Patel (Lion), Andrew Scott (Fleabag), John Slattery (Mad Men), and Shea Whigham (Homecoming) — star in Modern Lovea new Amazon series based on the New York Times column of the same name.

Click here to check out the new trailer.

To hear Modern Love: The Podcast, produced by WBUR, click here.

Things To Do On The Cape And Vineyard This Weekend

WBUR is proud to be a media sponsor of the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival. Set up-Island in Chilmark this year, the festival lineup includes Pulitzer and National Book award-winners and many New York Times bestsellers as well as local favorites. Saturday will feature the authors speaking together in a series of panel discussions.  Sunday will feature each author speaking individually.  Author book signings follow each talk. All books featured in the festival are available for sale at the festival site by Bunch of Grapes.  This extraordinary group of authors is presented to the community for FREE and open to all.
List of WBUR events:
Friday, August 2
Join us at the opening night of the festival for a conversation with comedians Chelsea Handler and Seth Meyers, who will discuss Handler's latest memoir, "Life Will Be the Death of Me."
Ticket price includes an autographed copy of "Life Will Be the Death of Me."
Saturday, August 3
9:00 a.m. Here & Now co-host Jeremy Hobson will be a panelist at the opening session, "The Role of the Press: The Presidency and Society."
For the full Saturday schedule, go to mvbookfestival.com/saturday
Sunday, August 4
9:00 a.m. Here & Now co-host Jeremy Hobson will interview David Wallace-Wells about his book, "Uninhabitable Earth."
2:50 p.m Sports and society reporter Shira Springer will interview Mark Leibovich about his book, "Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times."
For the full Sunday schedule, go to mvbookfestival.com/sunday

Things To Do On The Cape And Vineyard This Weekend

WBUR is proud to be a media sponsor of Heritage Museums and Gardens and the Woods Hole Film Festival. We will be playing games and giving out swag all weekend! Here's where to find us:
Saturday July 27:

  • WBUR is proud to sponsor the 28th Annual Woods Hole Film Festival, the oldest Festival on Cape Cod and the Islands, from Saturday, July 27 through Saturday, August 3, 2019. Filmmakers and patrons alike come to Woods Hole from around the world to see great films, meet interesting filmmakers, support the festival’s sponsors and bask in the best of summertime on Cape Cod. The festival takes place at multiple locations in Woods Hole. Click here to find out more.
  • Join us on Kids' Day at Heritage where kids receive free admission and the whole family can enjoy a fun-filled day including, a performance of the Amazing Animal Ambassadors, outdoor games, a scavenger hunt, arts and crafts and family photo-ops. Activities free with museum admission. No advanced registration required. Click here to find out more.

When And How To Listen To NPR And WBUR On Mueller Testimony

In this May 29 file photo, Special Counsel Robert Mueller speaks at the Department of Justice in Washington, about the Russia investigation. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
In this May 29 file photo, Special Counsel Robert Mueller speaks at the Department of Justice in Washington, about the Russia investigation. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

WBUR will broadcast live coverage of former special counsel Robert Mueller's appearances before the House judiciary and intelligence committees tomorrow beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET. Here & Now co-host Jeremy Hobson will anchor the hearings for NPR.

Find the best device for you to listen live to WBUR-FM with our "Ways To Listen" guide. Or you can watch the appearances here.

At 7 p.m., Meghna Chakrabarti will host a special episode of On Point -- "What More Have We Learned From Robert Mueller?" — to explore what he said, what lawmakers asked and what happens next.

Guests will include Josh Blackman, associate professor at South Texas College of Law, contributor to Lawfare and author of "Unprecedented: The Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare;" and Victoria Nourse, Georgetown University Law Center professor and former chief counsel to the U.S. vice president from 2015 to 2016. Nourse is also a former appellate lawyer in the Justice Department and special counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Message from Here & Now

Here & Now regrets that historian Sarah Milov wasn’t given due credit in a recent segment with two historians from the BackStory podcast. We have worked to remedy the situation and invited Professor Milov onto our program when her book "The Cigarette: A Political History," is published. She accepted. Corrections were made to the text and audio story which is posted online at hereandnow.org. At this time, we’re reviewing our editorial process, including the use of attribution, with the BackStory podcast producers and historians. Accuracy is the top priority for Here & Now and WBUR. To that end, we will pause any more collaboration with BackStory until a full review is completed.