Joel Rose

Joel Rose is a National Desk reporter based at NPR's New York Bureau.

Since joining NPR in 2011, Rose has covered the political, economic, and cultural life of the nation's biggest city. He's reported on the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the fall of the compact disc, and the fast-changing fortunes of New York's elected officials. He's also contributed to NPR's coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida, and the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal in Pennsylvania.

When pressing news doesn't keep him busy, Rose likes to report on the collision of the Internet and the entertainment industries, and to profile obscure musicians who should be more famous.

Rose has held a long list of jobs in public radio. Before coming to NPR, he spent ten years in Philadelphia, six of them as a reporter at NPR Member Station WHYY. He's also worked as a producer at KQED in San Francisco and American Routes in New Orleans. His writing has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, GOOD Magazine, and the Philadelphia Independent.

His radio reporting has won numerous awards, including a Golden Reel from the National Association of Community Broadcasters for his story about the unlikely comeback of soul singer Howard Tate.

Rose has a bachelor's degree in history and music from Brown University, where he got his start in radio as an overnight jazz DJ at the college station.

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Movie Interviews
6:40 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Documentary Shows George Plimpton's Best Story Was His Own

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

George Plimpton boxed with Archie Moore, played quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and played percussion for the New York Philharmonic. He did these jobs, and many others, as an amateur. Plimpton was a professional writer. A new documentary about his life makes the case that Plimpton's best story was his own story, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: When you listen to George Plimpton's voice, it's like hearing echoes of a New York that no longer exists.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Around the Nation
5:29 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Boston Bombings Prompt Fresh Look At Unsolved Murders

Gerry Leone was the district attorney for Middlesex County in Massachusetts when three people were murdered in a house in the Boston suburb of Waltham. He told reporters that police suspected the assailants and the victims knew each other.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:52 pm

An unsolved triple murder in the Boston suburbs is getting a closer look in the wake of the marathon bombings. One of the victims may have been a friend of bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. That's prompting authorities to revisit the 2011 case.

The murders took place in Waltham, Mass. On Sept. 12, 2011, police responded to a house in the leafy suburb a few miles west of Boston.

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Business
5:45 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Cyber Criminals Drain $45 Million From ATMs Around The World

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 1:13 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right, prosecutors are calling it the biggest bank heist in New York City since the 1970s. They say a gang of cybercriminals drained $45 million from ATMs around the world.

Here's NPR's Joel Rose.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: United States Attorney Loretta Lynch says the eight men charged in New York were able to withdraw $2.8 million in cash in just one day, in February.

LORETTA LYNCH: This was a 21st century bank heist. But instead of guns and masks, this cybercrime organization used laptops and malware.

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Health
3:02 am
Thu May 2, 2013

New York Tobacco Regulations Light Up Public Health Debate

The New York City Council is considering a number of regulations on cigarettes, including raising the minimum age for buying cigarettes to 21.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 10:09 am

If you're under 21, you may soon have a hard time lighting up in New York City. Public health officials in New York want to raise the minimum age for buying cigarettes.

The initiative is one of three proposed tobacco regulations the City Council will debate at a hearing Thursday afternoon.

"We think if we can prevent people from taking up the habit before they're 21, we might just be able to prevent them from taking it up at all," says New York Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.

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The Salt
6:35 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

NYC's Fast-Food Workers Strike, Demand 'Living Wages'

Demonstrators from the Fast Food Forward rally protest Thursday outside a Wendy's restaurant in New York City.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:20 pm

Fast-food restaurants were a little bit slower Thursday in New York City. Hundreds of workers staged a one-day strike in what organizers are calling the biggest job action ever in that industry. It's a growing segment of the economy, but workers complain that fast-food jobs don't pay enough to survive in New York City.

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Architecture
4:36 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Self-Taught Architect Behind Brooklyn's 'Broken Angel' Faces Eviction

Over the past three decades, Arthur and Cynthia Wood turned their four-story home into a work of art. They purchased the brick tenement at the intersection of Downing and Quincy streets in 1979 for $2,100 in cash.
Courtesy of Chris Wood

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:55 pm

A New York landmark of sorts is in danger of being wiped off the map. The building now known as Broken Angel was an ordinary 19th-century brick structure until self-taught artist and sculptor Arthur Wood started building on top of it in the late 1970s. Now Wood faces eviction from his own masterpiece — a towering structure that looks like a cathedral built out of salvaged junk.

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Music
4:19 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

The 'Ancient Vibration' Of Parlor Music, Revived By Two Generations

Lena Hughes recorded one album of Southern parlor music before her death in 1998.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 9:29 am

Sometime in the mid-1960s — no one's really sure when — Lena Hughes walked into a recording studio, probably in Arkansas. What we do know is that she recorded 11 tunes on the guitar.

"It's kind of like listening to 1880," folklorist Howard Marshall says. "You kind of get a wonderful, ancient vibration."

Marshall wrote a book about traditional music in Missouri, called Play Me Something Quick and Devilish.

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Around the Nation
6:39 am
Sat February 2, 2013

After Sandy, Pilgrimages To 'Church Of N.Y. Pizza' On Hold

Totonno's, one of New York's oldest pizzerias, suffered severe damage from flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy.
joebeone Flickr

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 3:07 pm

It's been more than three months since Hurricane Sandy crashed ashore, and many family-owned businesses in New York and New Jersey are still struggling to get back on their feet.

One of those businesses is Totonno's in Coney Island, where generations of pizza lovers have made the pilgrimage for a slice of New York City history.

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Remembrances
6:46 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Ed Koch, Outspoken Mayor Who Brought N.Y. Back From The Brink, Dies

New York Mayor Ed Koch raises his arms in victory on Sept. 11, 1985, after winning the Democratic primary in his bid for a third four-year term.
Mario Suriani AP

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 11:26 am

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, whose larger-than-life personality was well-suited to the nation's biggest city but could also get him in trouble, has died. He was 88.

His spokesman, George Arzt, says Koch passed away early Friday from congestive heart failure.

Koch was famous for asking his constituents this question: "Hey! How'm I doing?" He insisted this was more than just shtick. He told NPR in 1981 that he really wanted to know.

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U.S.
4:20 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

New York Murder Rate Plummets, But Who Should Get The Credit?

A New York City police academy graduation ceremony on Dec. 28, 2012, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the New York murder rate has hit an all-time low. While some point to the NYPD's policing tactics to explain the decline, others say economic and demographic shifts are also at work.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 8:16 pm

By most measures, New York City is safer than it's been in a half-century. The city recorded just 418 murders in 2012 — the lowest total since record keeping began in the early 1960s. But there's some debate about where to place the credit for that drop.

No part of New York saw a more dramatic decline in murders last year than the 61st Precinct in South Brooklyn. Two years ago, there were 14 murders in the precinct. Last year, it had only three.

'More Cops, More Safety,' Says One Resident

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Music
2:19 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Why There Are Only 100 Copies Of The New Bob Dylan Record

Bob Dylan in 1962. His extremely limited-edition 50th Anniversary Collection features unreleased material from his early career.
John Cohen Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 1:47 pm

Bob Dylan has made some puzzling moves in his celebrated career, but the compilation that his record label recently released may be as odd as anything he's ever put out.

The compilation, 50th Anniversary Collection, is a limited-edition, four-CD set that was only released in Europe. It seems to have been designed by the label to exploit a recent change in European copyright law.

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The Record
5:31 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Reflecting On EMI, An Industry Giant Felled In 2012

The London headquarters of EMI, whose sale this year brought the number of major labels from four to three.
Simon Dawson Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

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Around the Nation
5:30 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Post-Sandy Fixes To NYC Subways To Cost Billions

Joseph Leader, chief maintenance officer of the New York City subway system, surveys damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, this week at the South Ferry station.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 6:40 pm

Most subway stations in New York City affected by Superstorm Sandy have opened by now, but the South Ferry station at the southern tip of Manhattan is still closed. And when you get inside, it's easy to see why.

The platform is still coated with dirt more than a month after the storm. The tile walls are covered in grime from the tracks all the way up to the ceiling 25 feet overhead. There's debris dangling from the exit signs; the escalators look like they may never work again.

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NPR Story
4:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Cooper Union Students Protest Threat To Free Tuition

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And a student occupation is entering its third day in New York City. It's happening at Cooper Union. The school of art, architecture and engineering is famous for not charging undergraduates tuition.

As NPR's Joel Rose reports, student protesters are unhappy about what they see as threats to that tradition.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:14 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Marathon Runners Wonder, Why Not Cancel Earlier?

Mary Wittenberg, president of the New York Road Runners, announces the cancellation of the maration Friday in New York with Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson (left) and George Hirsch, chairman of the board of New York Road Runners.
Louis Lanzano AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 12:48 pm

For the first time since it began in 1970, the New York City Marathon will not take place.

Marathon officials and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had initially insisted that Sunday's race would go on despite the devastation caused by Sandy. But mounting opposition forced the organizers to change their minds Friday.

All week, the group that organizes the race, the New York Road Runners, kept saying the marathon would go on. But on Friday night, Road Runners CEO Mary Wittenberg made this announcement:

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Around the Nation
7:43 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

New York City Marathon Cancelled As Lights Come Back

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In New York City, the lights are coming back on and the race has been called off. For details, I'm joined now by NPR's Joel Rose in New York. And, Joel, tell us first of all, where has the electricity been restored?

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NPR Story
6:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

New York Officials Insist Stop-And-Frisk Is Legal

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A judge in New York City is hearing arguments this week about the controversial policing tactic known as stop-and-frisk. This case concerns a relatively small number of searches done without warrants that took place in the hallways of apartment buildings. It's being watched closely because it's the first of several major stop-and-frisk lawsuits to go to court. NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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Election 2012
5:06 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Libertarian Candidate Could Be Election Spoiler

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 10:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

If you don't think a third party candidate can play a role in a presidential election, just ask George HW Bush about Ross Perot or ask Al Gore about Ralph Nader.

This fall, the Libertarian Party will have a candidate on the ballot in at least 47 states. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson probably won't be invited to the debates and pollsters don't usually even bother asking about him. But he could influence the outcome of a close election, as NPR Joel Rose reports.

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Around the Nation
4:53 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Construction Still Slow At World Trade Center Site

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 9:57 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Thousands gathered today at the World Trade Center site in New York. They marked the 11th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks. Family members of the victims took turns reading the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Janice Marie Ashley.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Thomas J. Ashton.

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