John Dankosky | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

John Dankosky

Executive Editor, NENC

John is Executive Editor of the New England News Collaborative, an eight-station consortium of public media newsrooms. He is also the host of NEXT, a weekly program about New England, and appears weekly on The Wheelhouse, WNPR's news roundtable program.

Previously, he was Vice President of News for CPBN, and Host of Where We Live,  twice recognized by PRNDI as America’s best public radio call-in show. You can also hear him as the regular fill-in host for the PRI program Science Friday in New York. He has worked as an editor at NPR in Washington, and reported for NPR and other national outlets on a variety of subjects.

As an editor, he has won national awards for his documentary work, and regularly works with NPR and member stations on efforts to collaborate in the public media system. As an instructor, John has held a chair in journalism and communications at Central Connecticut State University and been an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University. He is also a regular moderator for political debates and moderated conversations at The Connecticut Forum , the Mark Twain House and Museum, The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, The World Affairs Council of Connecticut and The Litchfield Jazz Festival.

John began his radio career at WDUQ in Pittsburgh, his hometown.

Ways to Connect

Brooke Singer

From shopping to banking to taxes “design thinking” is all around us....But beyond the buzz phrase, what does it mean?

Here’s another one: “Data Visualization” - and you’ve gotta come up with something better than an overhead projector showing a pie chart.  

Today we try to understand these new ways of looking at the systems that govern our lives, health, finances, even our environmental impact.  

Wikipedia Commons

Last week, while he was in Afghanistan, Congressman Chris Murphy saw a wanted poster for Osama Bin Laden in the special ops command center.

Now, that poster’s down - but Bin Laden’s death doesn’t clean up the messy history of US involvement in Afghanistan, or the rocky relationship between the US and Pakistan.  We’ve heard this week that top officials in that country didn’t know Bin Laden was hiding out so close to the capital...

creative commons

Workplace expert Al Bhatt says our places of employment should be made up of jazz bands, rather than a marching band.

Bhatt’s done consulting work for big companies like Facebook, Siemens, American Express, and State Farm Insurance.

Now Facebook, I can see them being pretty improvisational...but an insurance company?  

Today, in advance of our “small business breakfast” tomorrow in Bridgeport, we’re going to look at the changing workplace in big businesses, and how they’re adapting to a new workforce.  

Bin Laden is Dead

May 2, 2011

President Barack Obama made the stunning announcement late last night that a long intelligence operation led US forces to a compound 60 miles outside of Islamabad, Pakistan - where they killed Bin Laden in a firefight.   In his short speech, he also asked Americans to think back to the sense of unity that the nation felt after 9/11- unity that has since frayed.  

Casey Serin, Creative Commons

About one in five prisoners in Connecticut is receiving mental health treatment .

According to the 2010 recidivism report recently released by the state, inmates with mental health problems are significantly more likely to end up back in jail once they get out.

The statistics reveal a flawed system of treatment and rehabilitation for the mentally ill in the state’s justice system - but it’s not confined to Connecticut.  

The Humanities

Apr 27, 2011
Creative Commons

Jim Leach says the humanities “expand understanding of human nature and the human condition.” 

Leach is a former congressman and champion collegiate wrestler.  Both of these life skills come in handy as he navigates federal funding in his role as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

Leach is touring all 50 states to talk about the role the humanities play in our daily lives.  He was recently in Connecticut, and came to our Hartford studios.

Editor B, Creative Commons

You’re on the train, listening to only one half of somebody else’s inane conversation.  That is so annoying!

What else annoys you?  Lip-smacking at the dinner table, slow drivers in the left lane, someone singing (ever so slightly) off key.  Let’s see, I’ve gotten some of these from people: Close talkers, crying kids on a plane, the toilet seat left up (sorry ladies), texting during a movie (or during dinner, or during an important conversation)...

Addicted to Food

Apr 25, 2011
stev.ie, creative commons

Cocaine v. Chocolate Milkshake? Could there be a similarity?  

One Yale researcher says that addictions to both food and drugs have similar reactions on the brain. Using an MRI, participants’ brains were scanned while looking at and eating a chocolate milkshake.

Our Growing Cities

Apr 20, 2011
Chion Wolf

It might be a stretch to say Connecticut cities are “booming,” but new census figures show they are growing.

People are starting to move back into Connecticut’s cities. This reverses a decades-long trend toward suburban sprawl and urban decline.  The five largest cities in the state have gained close to 23,000 residents.  There are more housing units, and more of those homes are filled with people.  

Tax Day

Apr 18, 2011
Chion Wolf

When critics say the state shouldn’t increase taxes on the wealthy, they often say that it’ll force the rich to leave Connecticut.  So, is it true?

Two new studies show - well, that’s it’s not true at all.  That other factors, beyond the tax rate, are what drives people to make decisions about where to live.  

Immigration Day

Apr 13, 2011
Chion Wolf, WNPR

Today mark’s the state’s 14th Annual Immigrant Day

There’s a midnight deadline.  If a deal between lawmakers and the White House can’t be struck, the federal government shuts down.

And the next question is…does it matter?  We’re being assured that even in shut-down mode, our mail still gets delivered, entitlement benefits will still be paid, the military will keep fighting on three fronts. 

But other services you count on from the government are still kind of up in the air.  That expedited passport for the surprise Caribbean cruise?  The big tax refund you were planning on to pay for said cruise?

Elvert Barnes, Creative Commons

For years, we’ve been hearing about the chronic struggles of newspapers and the proliferation of so called “new media” sources of journalism.  

As one outcome of this change, the traditional competition for stories between papers has given way to a new era of cooperation. By pooling resources and working together, these upstarts are making a real impact, informing the community, and driving the discussion in collaboration with newspapers.  

Today we continue our series of conversations recorded at a conference called “Lifting the Veil: Journalism Uncovered.”

Roots of Prejudice

Apr 6, 2011
Linda, Creative Commons

Prejudice is one of the more troubling and baffling aspects of human nature

It has been the subject of scientific study for years.  But while social psychologists have learned a great deal about attitudes and societal influences that cause intergroup conflict, little effort has been devoted to understanding how adult humans come to have these biases in the first place.  So a Yale study set out to discover the roots of human prejudice, by studying groups of rhesus monkeys.

John Ryan Recabar

Today we talk with Palestinian physician Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish. In 2009 during Israel’s invasion and bombardment of Gaza, a rocket hit his house killing three of his daughters and his niece. Author of “I Shall Not Hate,” Abuelaish has devoted his life to reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

So, these three Governors walk into a town hall meeting.  One’s a member of the tea party, one is Mario Cuomo’s kid, and the third guy’s wearing a green tie.

I think I’m telling this wrong. The joke’s also supposed to include something about a labor department mural in Maine, and the terms “shared sacrifice” and “transformational.” 

The new Governors across our region are all facing big budgetary challenges, and they’re handling them in very different ways.

NPR's David Folkenflik once got into a battle of words with Geraldo Rivera.  It just proves that covering the media isn't always pretty. 

His latest assignment is a perfect example: Cover the corporate meltdown of your own company...go! 

Labor, After the Fire

Mar 28, 2011
Library of Congress

On Friday’s show Governor Dannel Malloy took a hard line with state labor unions – if they don’t reach an agreement on concessions, massive layoffs are on the table.

Governor Malloy said about the possibility of layoffs: “If it’s the only option, it’s the only option to pursue.” Today we’ll get reaction from an official from the state’s employee unions.

Chion Wolf

Dannel Malloy said he’d be more open to the press – more “communicative” than the previous governor.  I guess he wasn’t kidding…

Since his budget speech, Malloy has embarked on a voyage through Connecticut towns and cities that would seem ambitious by the standards of a touring rock band. 

And like those bands, grinding it out on the road – it must be getting a bit old by now. 

Shirin Ebadi

Mar 24, 2011
jyc1, creative commons

Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian Human Rights attorney, who in 2003 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on behalf of democracy and human rights - especially for women and children.  She’s speaking on the “Role of the West in Iran’s Struggle for Freedom,” this Saturday, March 26th at 6:30 at Hartford Seminary.  She’s also the headline speaker for the 2011 PeaceJam Northeast Youth Conference at Watkinson School in Hartford this weekend. 

Todd Huffman

NPR is under attack over funding, fundraising and claims of bias.  So what does the network’s Ombudsman think?

We have Alicia Shepard, NPR’s Ombudsman on Where We Live regularly to talk about journalism, and the job that NPR reporters and editors do. 

She’s leaving the network, just as NPR has become a national issue on Fox News and the butt of jokes on The Daily Show. 

Paul Cross, Creative Commons

The proposed merger of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR would create the third largest utility in the country and the largest in New England

NU of course is based in Connecticut and NStar in Massachusetts.  The companies would retain headquarters in both states, but the top executives would be in Boston.

So, what does this mean for you?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Susan Herbst is the new President of the University of Connecticut.  She says the state needs a school it can “brag on.”

Coming from the University System of Georgia, she says that’s a “Southern” code phrase for making UConn a flagship University in the mold of Michigan or Berkeley - an internationally recognized research center that has a powerful “academic brand.”

therichbrooks, creative commons

Today’s guest memorized the precise order of an entire deck of cards in one minute and forty seconds.

This supreme act of memorization earned Joshua Foer a US record for speed and a winning title at the US memory championship in 2006.  But how does his uncanny ability to memorize useless information relate to our daily blunders of lost car keys, forgotten birthdays…and the classic: “I know you just told me… but what’s your name again?!” 

Japan, One Week Later

Mar 18, 2011
Fox News Insider, Creative Commons

After a full week of pictures and words and statistics, it’s still hard to get a grip on the scope of the tragedy.  Thousands killed, with many thousands more missing.  Hundreds of thousands without water or shelter.  And, the specter of a nuclear meltdown that has taken the world’s attention away from the devastation of the original event.

Today, a week after the earthquake – we’ll look at Japan.  How it’s coping, and how people in Connecticut are helping.

Dan Esty Goes DEEP

Mar 17, 2011
Chion Wolf, WNPR

Dan Esty is the new head of the Department of Environmental Protection – and if Governor Dannel Malloy gets his way, that job will grow to include “Energy” in the title. 

Esty’s a Yale professor who’s advised President Obama on energy policy, and several corporations on how to “go green.” 

He’s been talking about how to create more “green jobs” in the state – how to speed up the DEP’s permitting process – and how to bring down our sky-high energy costs. But this is a big job. So how is he going to protect the environment while making life easier for business?  

bgottsab, creative commons

Across the country, millions are still unemployed…and they’re not just older workers who’ve been laid off.

The most recent government report says nearly 20% of young adults don’t have jobs.

Recently on the show we talked about “emerging adulthood” – the phenomenon of young people postponing marriage and parenthood until at least their late twenties, and spending lots of time in self-focused exploration. 

Winning

Mar 14, 2011
D. Basu, Creative commons

You can win the peace, win the future, win the game, win the lottery, or if you’re Charlie Sheen you can just be “A Winner.”

You’ve heard variations on the saying, “Winning isn’t everything…it’s the only thing.”  Motivational, to be sure – but when winning is the only goal, does that make most of us “losers?

Creative Commons

Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey are all talking about taxes and public sector unions.

It’s a different kind of conversation in the Northeast than they’re having in say, Wisconsin - but the rhetoric is still kind of hot.

Dannel Malloy dubbed himself the “Anti-Christie” (take that New Jersey!) and then got a nice write-up in the New York Times for what they called a “Better Budget” proposal without bombast.

DMahendra, Creative Commons

Today, Long Island Congressman, Peter King, holds a hearing called "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response."

As chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, King says he wants to look into the threat of homegrown terrorism and its ties to Islam.

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