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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The Salt
3:47 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

In New Jersey, A Beef Over Pork Roll Sparks Rival Festivals

What is pork roll? As one fan puts it, "It's like Spam meets bacon." This sandwich is one of many ways to eat the processed meat, a largely unsung specialty of New Jersey.
via Wikimedia

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 9:49 am

Try to order "pork roll" in most of the country and you'll probably get a blank stare. But in New Jersey, pork roll is a staple at diners, restaurants and food trucks from Cape May to the Meadowlands. And this unsung meat product is now the star of not one, but two competing festivals on Saturday in Trenton.

To the untrained eye, pork roll looks like Canadian bacon. But New Jersey residents know better.

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Business
3:41 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

New York City Launches 'Day Of Action' To Educate Nail Salon Workers

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:07 pm

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Around the Nation
4:58 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Amtrak Engineer Said Train May Have Been Struck Before Derailment

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Technology
3:42 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Amtrak CEO Pledges To Install Speed Control Technology By End Of Year

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 7:35 pm

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Architecture
3:46 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Whitney Museum's New Building Opens Doors (And Walls) To Outside World

The new building's window-lined hallways are in stark contrast to the brutalist design of the Whitney's former home.
Nic Lehoux Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 3:18 pm

The Whitney Museum of American Art has never stayed in one place for long. It has had four different homes in its 84-year history — the latest a $422 million glass-and-steel construction that recently opened in Manhattan's Meatpacking District — and each of those homes speaks to a particular moment in the evolution of American art and museum culture.

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The Record
7:57 am
Thu May 7, 2015

Songwriters And Streaming Services Battle Over Decades-Old Decree

Neil Portnow (left), president and CEO of The Recording Academy, talks with Lee Thomas Miller, head of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, at a music licensing hearing in 2014.
Paul Morigi WireImage for NARAS

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 12:16 pm

Music streaming services like Spotify and Pandora continue to grow more popular with music fans — but not with musicians, who complain they used to earn more in royalties from CD sales and music downloads. Songwriters say they've been hit even harder, and the Department of Justice appears to be taking their complaints seriously: It's exploring big changes to the music publishing business for the first time since World War II.

If you look at the top songs on the Billboard charts, most of them were written by at least one professional songwriter. It's a real job.

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It's All Politics
3:11 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

New Jersey Pension Lawsuit Piles On Gov. Christie's Rough Week

New Jersey's pension system is more than $80 billion in the red. Gov. Christie mostly blames past governors for sticking him with this bill. "I'm like the guy who showed up for dinner at dessert. ... And I got the check," he said earlier this year.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 5:32 pm

It's been a tough week for New Jersey Gov. and possible Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie.

One of his former allies pleaded guilty and two others were indicted for allegedly creating a traffic jam at the George Washington Bridge as political retribution.

Now, New Jersey's highest court is set to hear arguments over one of Christie's signature accomplishments: his pension reform deal.

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U.S.
3:59 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

With Baltimore Unrest, More Debate Over 'Broken Windows' Policing

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (center), City Police Commissioner William Bratton (second from right) and other NYPD officers address a news conference on Jan. 5. There is debate surrounding the citywide increase of low-level crime enforcement, otherwise known as the broken windows approach to policing.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 5:12 am

Police departments across the country are under pressure to rethink their most aggressive tactics — and it's not just flashpoints like Ferguson and Baltimore. The New York Police Department is on the defensive about its long-standing approach known as "broken windows" policing.

Simply put, broken windows is the idea that police should aggressively crack down on low-level offenses to stop bigger crimes from happening. It's been copied all over the country, but now critics in New York say broken windows needs fixing.

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Around the Nation
2:21 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

New York Mayor Announces Plan To Reduce Rikers Island Jail Population

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 5:45 pm

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U.S.
4:24 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Burden Of Proof Hurt State In N.J.-Exxon Settlement, Some Say

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 8:07 am

State officials released the details of New Jersey's proposed $225 million settlement with ExxonMobil on Monday, giving us a closer look at one of the largest environmental settlements in the state's history.

Environmentalists complain the company is getting off easy after polluting wetlands for many decades. The settlement focuses on two of Exxon's former refineries, Bayonne and Linden, in northern New Jersey.

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U.S.
2:47 am
Sat April 4, 2015

Despite Laws And Lawsuits, Quota-Based Policing Lingers

Multiple lawsuits accuse the New York City Police Department of pressuring officers into fulfilling monthly quotes for tickets and arrests, resulting in warrantless stops. The NYPD denies the allegations.
Spencer Platt Getty

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 8:30 am

In New York City, police rarely talk on the record at all, especially about a touchy subject like quotas. But Officer Adhyl Polanco is an exception.

"The culture is, you're not working unless you are writing summonses or arresting people," says Polanco.

One of the dirty secrets in law enforcement that no one likes to talk about is quotas. Police departments routinely deny requiring officers to deliver a set number of tickets or arrests. But critics say that kind of numbers-based policing is real, and corrodes the community's relationship with the police.

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The Salt
4:00 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

How The Matzo Crumbles: Iconic Streit's Factory To Leave Manhattan

A rabbi (center) supervises the production of Passover matzos at the Streit's factory on New York's Lower East Side, circa 1960s. This Passover will be Streit's last one at the landmark location.
AP

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 10:42 am

This Passover holiday marks the end of an era for an iconic matzo factory in New York City.

Streit's has been baking matzo — the unleavened bread that Jews eat during the eight days of Passover — in the same factory on the Lower East Side for 90 years. But the company announced it will move production to a new, modern factory after the holiday.

That's a blow to Streit's loyal customers, who insist it tastes better than other brands.

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The Salt
3:24 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

Not Just Sugary-Sweet, Hard Cider Makes A Comeback

The Wassail cider bar, which recently opened in New York City, offers a dozen ciders on tap and another 80 or so in bottles.
Noah Devereaux for Wassail

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 2:13 pm

There's a new bar in New York City devoted to the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage in America. But don't expect a list heavy on craft beer or bourbon.

Wassail is a cider bar.

"You can see the color, very deep," says Ben Sandler, co-owner of the bar and restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East Side. He's filling my glass with a delicious amber liquid from E.Z. Orchards in Salem, Ore. "You can see it's kind of cloudy, so it's not filtered. Really dry."

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U.S.
6:19 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Exxon Settlement Falls Short Of Damage, N.J. Democrats Say

Bayway Refinery in Linden, N.J., is one of two refineries that are involved in the settlement. It's no longer owned by Exxon, but they are on the hook for the cleanup.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 5:54 am

Lawmakers in New Jersey heard testimony today about one of the biggest environmental cases in that state's history.

ExxonMobil recently agreed to pay $225 million in damages for contamination at two oil refineries. Gov. Chris Christie called it a "good deal." But environmentalists complain the state is getting pennies on the dollar compared to the billions it was seeking in court.

The proposed settlement still requires approval by a state judge, and the public will have a chance to comment once the details are released — probably in the next few weeks.

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Technology
3:04 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

FCC Approves New Rules Intended To Protect Open Internet

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:42 pm

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The Federal Communications Commission voted today to regulate Internet access more like a public utility, the vote split 3-2 along party lines. As NPR's Joel Rose reports, the vote reflects deep divisions over the future of the Internet.

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All Tech Considered
4:28 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

What Net Neutrality Rules Could Mean For Your Wireless Carrier

T-Mobile CEO John Legere pitches a plan that allows unlimited music streaming without additional data charges. Some net neutrality proponents want the FCC to limit plans like these; the commission says it will review them on a case-by-case basis.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:37 am

After a decade of debate, the federal government is poised to change how it regulates Internet access, to make it more like telephone service and other public utilities.

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Movies
6:01 am
Sun February 22, 2015

In Oscar Nominations For Best Score, Some Hear Sour Notes

Michael Keaton is up for an Academy Award for his performance in Birdman. The movie's original score, despite receiving critical acclaim, was declared ineligible for Oscar consideration.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 4:46 pm

The movie Birdman is favored to pick up several major Academy Awards Sunday night, but it will not be taking home the Oscar for best original score. That's because it was declared ineligible for Oscar consideration.

Birdman has one of the year's more distinctive musical scores, propelled by the unaccompanied jazz drumming of Antonio Sanchez, a bandleader and longtime drummer for guitarist Pat Metheny.

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Code Switch
3:08 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Instead Of Stop-And-Frisk, How About Stop-And-Shake?

Yonkers community activist Hector Santiago demonstrates the "stop-and-shake" with Lt. Pat McCormack of the Yonkers Police Department. The idea, Santiago says, is to get people to introduce themselves to cops on the street.
Courtesy of Hector Santiago

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 6:13 pm

James Comey's speech on race and policing last week was a big departure for a sitting FBI director. For one thing, Comey quoted a lyric from the Broadway musical Avenue Q: "Maybe it's a fact we all should face: Everyone makes judgments based on race."

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The Salt
2:59 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Will A Tipped-Wage Hike Kill Gratuities For New York's Waiters?

Diners fill Riverpark, a New York City restaurant, in January. Restaurateurs fear that the tipped-wage hike being proposed in New York will force them to get rid of tipping altogether.
Brad Barket Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 5:59 pm

The restaurant economy of New York City may be nearing a tipping point.

State officials are recommending a big hike in the minimum hourly wage for people who work for tips. But that idea is giving many restaurateurs indigestion in New York City, home to more than 20,000 restaurants. Some say a tipped-wage hike could upend the whole system of tipping.

And many servers say tips are the No. 1 reason they started waiting tables.

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U.S.
3:17 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Failing Bridges Taking A Toll; Some States Move To Raise Gas Tax

The James C. Nance Memorial Bridge, which connects Purcell and Lexington, Okla., is closed for repair in March 2014. A handful of states have raised their gas taxes in part to fund transportation projects like bridge and road repairs.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 6:53 pm

A dozen states are considering something that was rarely discussed a few years ago: raising gas taxes. Low prices at the pump have emboldened state officials to think about raising new revenue to repair crumbling roads and bridges.

It's a scene that's all too familiar in much of the country — construction workers performing emergency repairs on a bridge. In Franklin Township, N.J., one bridge closed abruptly last month when it was deemed unsafe.

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Technology
3:13 am
Thu February 5, 2015

FCC Chairman Proposes Classifying The Internet As A Public Utility

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 4:46 pm

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All Tech Considered
1:55 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Would FCC Plan Harm Telecom Investment? Even Industry Opinion Is Mixed

Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T, introduces President Obama before the latter's remarks Dec. 3 at the quarterly meeting of the Business Roundtable, a group Stephenson chairs. Stephenson has said that increasing regulation of the broadband industry — as proposed by the president — would have a substantial chilling effect on its investment in infrastructure.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 12:21 pm

This week figures to be a big one in the debate about how to regulate the Internet.

Yesterday the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission announced he'll try to overrule laws in two states that restrict community-owned broadband networks. Later this week, he's expected to propose exactly what President Obama asked for last year: reclassifying the Internet under regulations known in the parlance of telecom wonks as Title II.

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All Tech Considered
4:20 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

The Battle Over Open-Internet Rules Shifts To Congress

President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to implement a strict policy of net neutrality and to oppose content providers in restricting bandwidth to customers.
Michael Bocchieri Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:01 pm

In Tuesday night's State of the Union address, President Obama offered a number of ideas for improving the economy. Among them was a nod to the role the Internet plays in economic development.

"I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks," Obama said.

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Around the Nation
2:58 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

NYPD Commissioner Is A Man Caught In The Middle

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 4:17 pm

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Law
6:08 am
Sun January 4, 2015

New York Prepares For Slain Officer's Funeral

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 10:20 am

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Shots - Health News
1:49 am
Thu January 1, 2015

Ebola Aid Workers Still Avoiding New York And New Jersey

Last fall's state-ordered quarantine of nurse Kaci Hickox (shown here with her boyfriend, Theodore Michael Wilbur, in late October) started at the airport in Newark, N.J., then followed her home to Fort Kent, Maine. Hickox treated Ebola patients in Africa but never had the illness.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 8:40 am

Sara Back, a nurse practitioner at a public hospital in the Bronx, is not the kind of person to turn down a tough assignment. This month she's heading to Sierra Leone to work a short stint caring for Ebola patients.

"I am beyond ready," she says.

Back is passionate about treating patients suffering from the deadly disease. But she's not so keen on the mandatory 21-day quarantine she faces when she gets home.

"It's definitely a pain in the tush," she says. "I mean, jokingly, my colleagues say, 'Well, we'll see you in, like ... June.' "

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Around the Nation
2:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Despite De Blasio's Appeal, Protesters March In New York

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 4:26 pm

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Law
2:53 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Justice Department Sues Over Conditions At Rikers Island Jail

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:32 pm

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Technology
2:37 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Half The Battle Over Net Neutrality Is Defining What It Means

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 8:15 am

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Goats and Soda
4:01 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Aid Groups See A Drop-Off In U.S. Health Volunteers To Fight Ebola

Nurses Bridget Mulrooney and Kelly Suter volunteered to work for the International Medical Corps at an Ebola treatment unit in Liberia. IMC is reporting a drop-off in recruits this fall.
Stuart J. Sia International Medical Corps

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 2:14 pm

The federal agency that oversees many American healthcare workers volunteering in Ebola-stricken regions of West Africa says there's been a significant decline in the number of people who are willing to go. International aid groups attribute that drop to the mandatory quarantine rules implemented by New York and New Jersey last month.

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