WBUR is adapting to remote work to ensure you still have the timely, reliable and relevant news you need throughout this pandemic. As we all work to make sense of the new normal, we want to share how the WBUR community—reporters, members, donors, corporate partners and so many more—are #makingitwork!
From turning closets into recording studios and gearing up to report from outdoors safely to using kitchen tables as work desks and pivoting to online services, life during the coronavirus has not only tested everyone’s creativity and management skills, it has also strengthened a commitment to journalism.
In WBUR producer Josh Swartz’s case, he’s working to deliver the new season of Endless Thread from a remote cabin in rural Vermont. The Wi-Fi might be spotty but that hasn’t slowed him down. You can listen to the special investigative series from Endless Thread called "Madness: The secret mission for mind control and the people who paid the price" now.
Swartz: I’ve been isolating with my fiancée’s family in rural Vermont since early March. When we first arrived, we were only anticipating staying for a few days. But soon after we got here, the NBA shut down and everyone learned Tom Hanks had tested positive. So… we pretty quickly realized we’d be here for the long haul.
As a podcast producer for Endless Thread, my typical work week includes pitching and reporting stories, booking guests, prepping interviews, writing and editing scripts, and cutting tape, as well as communicating with our small team. The internet in rural Vermont has been inconsistent, so I’ve been “commuting” to the parking lot of a local cross-country ski center, from where I can siphon faster internet if I get my car close enough to the main building!
All told, being “stuck” in a rural town in the Green Mountains has been a blessing. Instead of being cooped up in my tiny Boston apartment, I can step out the front door and walk for miles without crossing paths with another person. In fact, my fiancée and I begin and end most days by exploring the many surrounding woodland trails with our 5-month-old puppy, Kodiak. I’ve even gotten a crash course in maple syrup production from the neighbors, who run a small sugaring operation.
When it’s safe to do so, I’m excited to return to the WBUR offices and reconnect in-person with all my colleagues who have been doing such amazing journalism during this difficult time. Until then, if you find yourself driving through the Green Mountains of Vermont, you might spot a lone car parked at the ski area.
#MakingItWork: We’re featuring people and businesses in Massachusetts who are adapting and inspiring us all while figuring out ways to navigate this global pandemic. Some of them work here at WBUR too. Here are a few great examples of some initiatives:
- ‘My COVID Economy’: Stories from the community highlighting experiences of how the coronavirus has affected our work or financial life. Check out more stories like these from our newsroom here. You can submit your story here too.
- #CoveringCovid: A virtual series of one-on-one interviews with our reporters, where we pull back the curtain to better understand how they do their jobs and how the pandemic has changed it all. Subscribe to WBUR CitySpace’s YouTube channel to get the latest in the #CoveringCovid series.
- WBUR Town Halls: Broadcast live on WBUR’s YouTube channel every Tuesday at 6 p.m., the free virtual town hall series, brings together our journalists and experts to discuss a weekly topic—and also answer your questions live.