WBUR Staff

Benjamin Swasey

Digital Manager, WBUR

Ben Swasey is WBUR’s digital manager. He’s also an occasional reporter, and 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

Federal Transit Official Offers Boost To Redesigned Green Line Extension

May 20, 2016
An MBTA Green Line trolley on the overpass of Route 28 pulls into Lechmere Station in Cambridge. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The scaled-back plans for the long-awaited project have received early support from a key federal transit official.

Boston Tourism Director Is Charged With Union-Related Extortion

May 19, 2016
Kenneth Brissette, director of the city’s Office of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment, is seen here at a May 21, 2015, news conference. Brissette was arrested Thursday on what prosecutors described as union-related extortion charges. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Kenneth Brissette is alleged to have withheld permits and demanded that a music festival production company hire union labor. He called the charges “false.”

Mass. Opioid Crisis Continued To Worsen In 2015

May 02, 2016

There were 1,379 confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts last year, and more are estimated.

Mass. Economic Growth Ticked Back Up In 1st Quarter

April 28, 2016

Massachusetts’ economic growth outpaced the nation’s over the first three months of the year, and rebounded somewhat from a slowdown over the last half of 2015, according to new estimates.

Mass. Adds 6,900 Jobs In March; Jobless Rate Ticks Down To 4.4 Percent

April 14, 2016

March was a good month for the Massachusetts labor market — at least according to initial estimates.

Walsh Budget Proposal Would Increase City Spending By 4 Percent

April 13, 2016
Boston City Hall is seen in November 2015. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Forty percent of the city’s $2.97 billion budget proposal is pegged for education.

GE Pledges $50M For Local Initiatives Over 5 Years

April 04, 2016
General Electric will move to a 2.5-acre site in Fort Point that includes two older brick buildings and a portion of a parking lot. (Joe Difazio for WBUR)

Half of the commitment — $25 million — will go toward preparing Boston public school students for “tomorrow’s workforce,” GE said.

4 Takeaways From Boston’s New Report On Inequality

March 15, 2016
The Millennium Tower is seen undergoing construction in Boston in July 2015. (Hadley Green for WBUR)

The report provides yet more evidence that many in the city are struggling to find well-paying jobs, despite Boston’s overall strong economic growth.

Revisions Offer Mixed News For Mass. Job Growth

March 10, 2016
In this July 1, 2015, file photo, employees work at a New Balance manufacturing facility in Boston. (Stephan Savoia/AP)

Massachusetts gained far fewer jobs in 2015 than originally estimated — but also added thousands more jobs in 2014 than previously reported — according to annual revisions.

Boston Picks 5 Schools For College Savings Pilot Program

March 02, 2016
The Children's Savings Account program is run by the Office of Financial Empowerment. The city's Roxbury OFE office is seen in this April 2015 file photo. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Kindergarten students at five schools will be set up with college savings accounts under a pilot program Boston hopes to take citywide in 2019.

Baker Seeks $5M In Funds For Populations Struggling With Joblesssness

January 25, 2016
Gov. Charlie Baker, left, walks into the House Chamber to deliver his State of the State address on Thursday. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

In its budget proposal, the Baker administration will propose $5 million for populations that face chronically high levels of unemployment.

Baker Announces Campaign To Remove Stigma Of Addiction

November 04, 2015
A screenshot from a new statewide media campaign, created by the state, about addiction (YouTube)

“Studies show that stigmas can prevent people from getting into treatment — holding them back from recovery, stability and success,” Gov. Baker said.

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

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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