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.


Shots - Health News
10:30 am
Sat July 19, 2014

As New York Embraces HIV-Preventing Pill, Some Voice Doubts

Truvada has been around for a decade as a treatment for people who are already HIV-positive. In the last few years, it has also been shown to prevent new infections, and New York officials are embracing the pill as a way to prevent the spread of AIDS.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 11:22 pm

AIDS researchers and policymakers from around the globe are gathering in Melbourne, Australia, for a major international conference that starts this Monday. They'll be mourning dozens of colleagues who died in the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

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9:04 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Brooklyn DA Shifts Stance On Pot, But That Won't Impact NYPD

Outside New York City Hall, a policeman watches a protest against racial disparities in marijuana arrests. The majority of those arrested are black or Latino, even though those groups are not more likely to smoke pot.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 12:12 pm

Marijuana enthusiasts should still think twice before lighting up in the streets of Brooklyn.

The borough's district attorney announced this week that he'll no longer prosecute most low-level marijuana possession cases. But not all law enforcement officials in New York City are on board. Police Commissioner William Bratton responded to Thompson's decision with a shrug.

"It will not have any impact on our officers and the discretion they have as they go about their business," says Bratton.

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5:31 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Top NYPD Cop: Stop-And-Frisk Is Not 'The Problem Or The Solution'

The NYPD recently launched a study into what's causing a rise in shootings in the city. Commissioner William Bratton says it will examine a lot of factors, not just stop-and-frisk.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 6:41 pm

It's been nearly a year since a court ruling curtailed the New York Police Department's controversial practice known as stop-and-frisk, but NYPD Commissioner William Bratton says the city can be just as safe without it.

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All Tech Considered
5:38 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

A New Jersey Law That's Kept Smart Guns Off Shelves Nationwide

The Armatix smart gun is implanted with an electronic chip that allows it to be fired only if the shooter is wearing a watch that communicates with it through a radio signal. It is not sold in the U.S.
Michael Dalder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 11:51 am

A gun that fires only in the hands of its owner isn't science fiction anymore. A so-called smart gun is already on sale in Europe. But you won't find it on store shelves in this country — in part because of an obscure New Jersey law that's had unintended consequences for the rest of the nation.

Basically, the Childproof Handgun Law of 2002 says that once "personalized handguns are available" anywhere in the country, all handguns sold in New Jersey must be smart guns within 30 months.

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12:02 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

Move Over, Bridgegate: Chris Christie's Next Campaign Roadblock

As New Jersey's fiscal outlook worsens, Gov. Chris Christie is fighting to ensure that a traffic scandal is the worst of his political problems as he eyes a 2016 presidential campaign.

The U.S. economy reached a milestone this week: The country finally recovered all the jobs it lost during the Great Recession. But some states still lag behind when it comes to job creation — including New Jersey.

The Garden State's stalled economy may be an even bigger problem for Gov. Chris Christie than the scandal over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.

When Christie took office in 2010, the state had just lost more than 100,000 jobs. Christie was undaunted. He talked about the "Jersey Comeback" at town hall meetings, on TV and at ground-breaking events.

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6:22 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Why Is It So Hard For A Horse To Win The Triple Crown?

Birdstone (right), ridden by Edgar Prado, upsets horse Smarty Jones to win the Belmont Stakes in 2004. Smarty Jones was one of a dozen horses since 1978 to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown, only to lose at the Belmont.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 10:38 am

Only one more race stands between California Chrome and horse racing's Triple Crown, but it could be his toughest challenge yet.

Since 1978, a dozen horses — Sunday Silence, War Emblem and Smarty Jones among them — have won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, only to stumble before the finish line at the Belmont Stakes.

No one can say exactly why there's been a 36-year drought since the last Triple Crown winner, but there are several theories.

An Endurance Test

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4:19 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

To End Addiction Epidemic, States Focus On Stopping Doctor Shoppers

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 8:45 pm

Nearly every state has a prescription drug monitoring program that's meant to end abuse of opioids and other powerful pain medicines. But critics say most of these programs have a big loophole: they're voluntary, and many doctors don't use them. States that have made participation in PDMPs mandatory say they've started to cut down on practices that allow pain meds to be diverted into the black market. But those states are the exception.

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6:13 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Brewskee-Ball Founders Refuse To Be Sidelined By Trademark Case

Brewskee-Ball has built a league of competitive Skee-Ball players, but the owners of the name Skee-Ball are not amused.
Courtesy of Eric Pavony

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:04 pm

The founders of Brewskee-Ball like to say they've taken Skee-Ball from the arcade to the bar, turning the old-time amusement park game into a competitive sport with hundreds of dedicated players in a handful of locations across the country, including Brooklyn, N.Y., San Francisco and Austin.

But the company that makes Skee-Ball machines is not amused.

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4:17 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

New York Rep. Michael Grimm Indicted On 20 Counts

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 6:18 pm

Rep. Michael Grimm of New York turned himself in to face federal charges related to a health food restaurant he ran before he was elected to Congress. The Republican congressman says he's innocent and plans to run for re-election this fall, but Democrats have have high hopes of flipping the last GOP-held seat in New York City.

4:12 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Internal Report Clears Christie Of Bridgegate, But Dems Don't Buy It

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:03 pm



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.


And I'm Robert Siegel.

We now have the results of an internal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. Today's report was commissioned by the administration of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and it finds the governor did nothing wrong. It won't be the last word. Critics question the report's credibility, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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5:00 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

In The Face Of Disaster, Pritzker Winner Shigeru Ban Designs Solutions

Cardboard Church, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Stephen Goodenough Photographer Shigeru Ban Architects

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:19 pm

Each year the Pritzker Architecture Prize goes to a star architect with a long list of glamorous commissions around the globe. This year's winner is a little different.

Shigeru Ban has designed museums, homes and concert halls. But Ban is best known for a more humble kind of work: The temporary structures he's built for refugees and evacuees all over the world.

Ban may be the only architect in the world who makes buildings out of paper — cardboard paper tubes, to be precise.

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Around the Nation
5:46 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

NYC Race Focuses On Income Gap, But How Much Can A Mayor Do?

New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio rides the subway while greeting commuters in New York on Monday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 7:42 pm

Voters in New York City go to the polls Tuesday to choose their next mayor, and it appears all but certain that they'll elect Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate.

The Democrat has built a wide lead in the polls by distancing himself from the incumbent mayor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg. In fact, de Blasio has made income inequality the central issue of his campaign, name-checking the Charles Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities dozens of times at debates and stump speeches.

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Around the Nation
3:41 am
Mon October 28, 2013

The Slow, Uneven Rebuilding After Superstorm Sandy

Samantha Langello and her daughter Alanna, 2, stand in front of their flood-damaged house in Fox Beach on Staten Island, N.Y.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 11:33 am

After Hurricane Sandy, the south shore of Staten Island looked like it had been hit by a tsunami. The storm surge devastated whole neighborhoods suddenly, in a matter of hours. In the year since the storm, some families have been rebuilding their homes and their lives. Others are ready to sell their flood-damaged properties and move on.

Joe Salluzzo lives in a neighborhood called New Dorp Beach, a few blocks from the ocean. He rode out the storm on the second story of his brick bungalow, which he's been repairing himself ever since.

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Around the Nation
4:37 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Gay Couples Tie Knot In New Jersey As Christie Backs Down

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:10 am



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.


And I'm Audie Cornish.

Governor Chris Christie has dropped his legal challenge to same-sex marriage in New Jersey. His announcement came just hours after same-sex couples there began tying the knot for the first time.

As NPR's Joel Rose reports, Christie's decision means New Jersey is effectively the 14th state to recognize same-sex marriage.

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It's All Politics
2:58 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Booker Gets A Run For His Money In N.J. Senate Race

Democrat Cory Booker (left) and Republican Steve Lonegan stand together after their first debate in the race for U.S. Senate on Oct. 4 in Trenton, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 9:22 am

Cory Booker, the celebrity mayor of Newark, N.J., was expected to cruise to victory in the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the late Frank Lautenberg. But just a week before voters go to the polls, he's facing a surprisingly strong challenge from Tea Party favorite Steve Lonegan.

The race was supposed to be a mismatch: Booker, the Democrat, and his 1.4 million Twitter followers versus the Republican former mayor of Bogota, N.J. — population 8,000.

But no one told Lonegan.

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Around the Nation
5:12 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Time For Superstorm Sandy Evacuees To Check Out Of Hotels

Sandy evacuees Shawn Little (right) and her daugher, Terri, joined a press conference to protest for more time at city hotels while they look for permanent homes.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:38 am

Almost 300 Sandy victims are still living in hotel rooms on the taxpayers' dime — but not for long. City officials say the program is expensive, and it's time for those remaining Sandy evacuees to move out.

This week, the displaced families living in hotels got a letter from New York City officials telling them they will not pay for those rooms after Friday.

This was the message they sent back on Wednesday: Heck no, we won't go!

At a press conference outside City Hall, several dozen evacuees protested for more time.

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Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Hundreds Of Safety Net Hospitals Face Uncertain Future

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.


And I'm Melissa Block.

Hospitals that serve the neediest patients are bracing themselves through the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. These safety-net hospitals treat large numbers of people with no health insurance and many are struggling. In New York, a handful of these hospitals are on the brink of closing.

And as NPR's Joel Rose reports, some worry that the health care law will make things even worse, not better.

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Ecstatic Voices
12:03 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

Atheists Take Old Hymns Out Of The Chapel And Into The Streets

The Renaissance Street Singers give a performance at the Winterdale Arch, near the West 81st Street gate in Central Park.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 10:16 am

On a recent Sunday afternoon, 15 members of the Renaissance Street Singers gathered under a bridge in New York's Central Park. With little fanfare, they launched into a free, two-hour concert of music by Palestrina, des Prez and other composers who lived more than 500 years ago.

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Around the Nation
4:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

New York City Council To Vote On Tough Police Oversight Laws

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:43 pm



In New York, the city council is poised to vote today on some of the toughest police oversight laws in decades. The vote comes just weeks after a judge ruled that the NYPD violated the civil rights of minorities with its practice of stopping mostly young men of color on the streets.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is appealing the judge's ruling and refusing to back down on a policing program he has championed. NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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It's All Politics
4:33 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Cory Booker: Supermayor Or Self-Promoter?

Newark Mayor Cory Booker speaks about his Senate campaign, outside the Grove Path Station in Jersey City, N.J., last month.
Ashlee Espinal The Jersey Journal/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:25 pm

In one week, voters in New Jersey go to the polls in a special primary election for a U.S. Senate seat.

No one on the ballot has more name recognition than Cory Booker, the 44-year-old mayor of Newark, who is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. But Booker's critics say he's been more focused on his own ambitions than on governing New Jersey's largest city.

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The Record
1:12 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Maxwell's, The Beloved New Jersey Venue, Closes

Maxwell's, in Hoboken, N.J., hosted Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana and the Replacements, to name a few.
George Kopp

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 5:32 pm

The rock club Maxwell's is a tiny space that's hosted some of the biggest names in music for more than 30 years. R.E.M., Nirvana and many more bands have squeezed onto Maxwell's stage in Hoboken, N.J. Native son Bruce Springsteen recorded the music video for "Glory Days" there.

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The Salt
3:51 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Fast-Food Strikers Demand A 'Living Wage'

People gathered outside a Wendy's restaurant in New York City on Monday as part of a one-day strike calling for higher wages for fast-food workers.
Justin Lane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 8:22 am

At a Wendy's restaurant in Lower Manhattan on Monday, protesters urged the lunchtime crowd to skip the Value Menu for one day. They blocked the sidewalk and half of the street.

Shanell Young held a red strike sign over her head. Young earns the minimum wage, $7.25 an hour, at another Wendy's in New York. She says that's not enough to support her and her 5-year-old son.

"It's horrible," says Young. "Everything goes up. It's unfair. You can't find an apartment. You can't pay for children's school uniforms. Everything is unfair. We can't live off this."

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The Salt
3:33 am
Mon July 22, 2013

New York Toasts Long-Awaited Revival Of Its Distilleries

Tuthilltown Spirits in New York makes a clear corn whiskey, and the first legal aged whiskey in the state since Prohibition, among other products.
Joel Rose/NPR

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 11:30 am

A century ago, New York could claim that much of its liquor was local, thanks to distilleries large and small that supplied a lot of the whiskey, gin and rum that kept New York City (and the rest of North America) lubricated. Then Prohibition arrived and the industry largely dried up, before trickling back to life in the 21st century.

Now, distillers in New York state are toasting a revival 80 years in the making.

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4:26 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Big Personalities Are Front And Center In NYC Mayoral Race

Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn marches in the New York Gay Pride Parade on June 30.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:49 pm

Everything about the New York City mayor's race is supersized.

No less than a dozen candidates are vying to succeed Michael Bloomberg as leader of the nation's biggest city — five Republicans and seven Democrats. The candidates have appeared at more than 100 forums and debates, and the primary is still two months away.

Observers say that the crowded field could favor big personalities.

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Around the Nation
7:11 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

At Coney Island, The (Mermaid) Show Must Go On

The Mermaid Parade at Coney Island draws hundreds of thousands of revelers each June. After sustaining significant damage during Superstorm Sandy, the nonprofit that runs the parade was almost unable to host this year's event, scheduled for Saturday.
Eric Thayer Reuters/Landov

Not even Superstorm Sandy could keep the mermaids from coming back to Brooklyn.

The Mermaid Parade is a nautically themed and occasionally naughty parade that draws close to a million people to Coney Island, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, each June. Sandy nearly drowned the organization that hosts the parade, but supporters donated more than $100,000 to get the parade back on its fins this year.

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Around the Nation
5:12 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Cooper Union Students Fight For Freedom From Tuition

An image of Cooper Union founder Peter Cooper is projected on the office of school President Jamshed Bharucha, in protest of the institution's decision to begin charging tuition.
Courtesy of The Illuminator

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 8:11 am

When students at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York took over the president's office one month ago to protest the school's decision to charge tuition, they painted the lobby black.

They also took a painting of the school's founder, and hung a piece of red fabric from the frame, as if Peter Cooper himself had joined in the protest.

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Movie Interviews
6:40 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Documentary Shows George Plimpton's Best Story Was His Own



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.


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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.

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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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



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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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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