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

Chion Wolf / WNPR

We’ve been talking a lot about national politics lately on the Wheelhouse. But there’s a LOT happening here in Connecticut. 

J Colman / Creative Commons

There are some weeks in the news when it seems like everything that’s been roiling and boiling in America comes to a head - all at once. A bombing in New York city - with other devices left unexploded - and a suspect in custody. The incident has once again prompted fears among America’s Muslim community, worried about backlash. 

Mike McGuire, as seen on 14th Street NW, Washington, DC // Creative Commons

Since last week's Wheelhouse, we had one candidate learn where Aleppo is, we heard one candidate refer to a "basket of deplorables," and we learned the same candidates campaign had been hiding a pneumonia diagnosis.

It’s the 25th anniversary of Connecticut’s income tax. Opponents of that tax will tell you lots of reasons why it’s hurt the state. Proponents will tell you that it’s a necessary tool to pay for government services. But one reality has really taken hold over the last few years.

City of Hartford

Is the city if Hartford facing Bankruptcy? This hour, we explore that question, and the future of the vacant ballpark. 

Mark Nozell, Creative Commons

We’re gonna try really hard to not say one word. That word starts with a T, and rhymes with “thump.” 

Marcie Casas / Creative Commons

A state senator is being investigated in Connecticut. That doesn’t sound surprising actually. This time, it’s about adding constituents who contacted his office about constituent stuff to political fundraising lists. Even in Connecticut that’s a no-no! 

U.S. Army / Creative Commons

Just when you think you've seen and heard it all, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gets into a public fight with Gold Star parents and their supporters. This hour, we take a closer look at that story with a panel of political experts and reporters. We also consider the impact of gender stereotyping in politics and discuss some of the other big headlines from this week's news. 

ABC Television / Creative Commons

This election cycle continues its unpredictable streak. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are no longer "presumptive" nominees. Allegations of Russian hacking into the Democratic National Committee surround the start of the convention. Bernie Sanders is backing Clinton, but some of his supporters are vocally holding out.

Mallory Benedict / PBS NewsHour

It’s the biggest party for Republicans since…well, 2012. GOP lawmakers, retired military leaders, and soap opera stars speak this week in Cleveland as the national Republican party puts a ring on Donald Trump. Our panel will provide mid-convention analysis and updates on the speeches, controversies, and theatrics that are on full-display in Ohio.

Rep. John Yarmuth / Twitter

Gunfire and three blasts at the airport in Istanbul yesterday left at least 40 people dead and hundreds wounded. It’s yet another strike against Turkey, a country that's on the front lines of a migration crisis and a war against terrorists. Some U.S. lawmakers, meanwhile are trying to make it harder for those on the terror watch list to get guns, including House Democrats who staged the latest high-profile demonstration last week. But that other issue, migration, was the key to the victory of the "Leave" campaign in the United Kingdom, as they voted to exit the E.U. 

YouTube / Senate Democrats

It's been a busy week in Connecticut's political world. Sen. Chris Murphy rode the wave following his nearly 15-hour-long filibuster to get a vote on gun laws. That wave crashed this week after his colleagues rejected new restrictions on gun sales. But several gun-related issues made news from the judicial branch. This hour, our weekly news roundtable discusses these developments and an update from the state capitol where the legislature overrode some of Gov. Dannel Malloy's vetoes, but not as many as expected. 

Matt A.J. / Creative Commons

The Associated Press said Hillary Clinton "clinched" the Democratic nomination for president on Monday. The Bernie Sanders campaign and supporters weren't happy. "Let those people vote and decide before the media tells them that the race is over," Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaved told CNN. Should the A.P. have waited until after Tuesday's final big primary day?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Donald Trump hits the magic number to become presumptive Republican nominee on his quest to become the next POTUS. On the other side of the aisle, Bernie Sanders asked the Democratic National Committee to boot Dan Malloy from his role at the convention. This hour on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we discuss the jobs and duties of these politicians.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state legislature heads into overtime to discuss (and hopefully pass) a budget that was partially unveiled nearly a week after the regular session ended.

This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will discuss how things operated during this legislative session. We also recap the Democratic and Republican state conventions where (eventually) all reporters were credentialed to cover the proceedings if they wanted to. But this has us thinking about the press and the 2016 election overall this year. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Ten years ago, Democratic political newcomer Ned Lamont launched a bid to unseat his party’s incumbent U.S. senator. He defeated Joe Lieberman in the primary and brought national political attention to Connecticut. But 2006 was also the year that our show launched. This hour, we look back at that campaign with Lamont and talk about what has happened in the state and country since then. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Dr. Gail Christopher has been a crusader for better health outcomes in America, championing an idea that “place matters,” finding that the way people live in some communities puts them at a much higher risk for disease. 

Krissy Venosdale / Creative Commons

In his State of the State address, Governor Dan Malloy asked legislators not to wait until the last day of the session to pass a budget. At the time, lawmakers gave him a standing ovation. Flash forward a few months to the waning hours of the regular session, and what still needs to be passed? The state budget.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission / Flickr Creative Commons

New York's Indian Point nuclear facility has faced a number of recent incidents including fires, blown transformers, and most recently detection of radioactive water near the facility. This hour, an update on the situation there and in Florida where the Turkey Point nuclear facility is under scrutiny.

We also hear from WNPR’s David DesRoches, who has been following the story of PCBs in Connecticut schools and in Alabama.


As presidential candidates crisscross the United States, they have to learn how to win in open primaries, closed primaries, and caucuses. If they want their party's nomination, they need support from average voters and the more high-profile superdelegates. Candidates also must navigate the unique and varying rules of each state's contest. We haven't even gotten to the general election and the electoral college rules!

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The current legislative impasse over the state budget is less between political parties and more between branches of government. Gov. Dannel Malloy received plenty of criticism from members of his own party after releasing his revised budget proposal that makes widespread cuts to services and aid. Connecticut also hasn't completely put the lid on this year's budget.

This hour, we're joined in-studio by the governor to share his views on what's happening in the state capitol and how these debates can be resolved.

Tucker Ives / WNPR

Just a few weeks ago, Connecticut started to write-off its importance in the presidential nomination process. But then Bernie Sanders picked up steam and Donald Trump's campaign faltered. With less than a week before Connecticut residents cast their ballots, the candidates are making public stops across the state. Trump was in Hartford last week, and Hillary Clinton and John Kasich have visits scheduled this week.

creative commons

President Obama’s visit to Cuba last month was historic for that country, and for relations between Cuba and the U.S. For many Cuban Americans living in the U.S., this trip, and the warming relationship between the countries, doesn’t wipe away those barriers of pain and separation. 

Robert Markowitz and Bill Stafford / NASA Robonaut Lab

The U.S. and world economies were revolutionized by globalization and later by the digital revolution. What's coming next? This hour, we sit down with someone who has an idea of what's to come. Alec Ross served as Senior Advisor for Innovation to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He tells us how emerging fields like robotics and genomics are changing the way we live and work.

Astro / Creative Commons

A few weeks ago we held a conversation about the n-word -- how the word is used by black and white Americans; how it's been used by newspapers over time; and how one professor would like to see it stop being used altogether.