Tune into spirited debate, local stories, and insightful analyses with The Codcast.

Hosted each week by a CommonWealth Beacon reporter, the half-hour policy podcast delves into the heart of Massachusetts’s most pressing and intriguing topics.

Hear newsmakers, historians, and policy experts tackle statewide housing struggles, immigration policies, little-known histories, surprising political fights, and even take to the sea to visit rising offshore wind turbines.  


Follow the weekly podcast on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, or anywhere else you get your podcasts. New episodes drop every Monday.

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Latest Episode

Building a safety culture in Massachusetts healthcare

This week, Paul Hattis and John McDonough of Health or Consequences are joined by Barbara Fain, executive director of the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety. They discuss the state of knowledge around medical care errors, as well as ongoing efforts to respond to and reduce it.

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On ranked choice, Mass Fiscal looks back and gears up

Ranked-choice voting and rent control will not be on the 2024 ballot in Massachusetts, but supporters are still pushing the policies in the legislature and locally. This week on The Codcast, CommonWealth Beacon’s Jennifer Smith is joined by Paul Craney and Jennifer Braceras of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance to discuss their opposition to both issues.

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The new face of labor

This week on the Codcast, CommonWealth Beacon’s Jennifer Smith is joined by Chrissy Lynch, the new president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, to discuss the current pivotal moment for organized labor, the changes she’s seen in the movement over the years, and her policy priorities.

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Dissecting the new CommonWealth Beacon poll

Are we a beacon? This week on The Codcast, CommonWealth Beacon’s Michael Jonas is joined by Steve Koczela of the MassINC Polling Group and Erin O’Brien of UMass Boston to discuss new polling data on how Massachusetts residents see the Commonwealth relative to other states, and relative to 20 years ago.

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Is Massachusetts a beacon of democracy?

In this live episode of The Codcast, Commonwealth Beacon‘s Jennifer Smith is joined by Danielle Allen of Harvard University and Partners in Democracy to discuss how Massachusetts’s democracy is doing.

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‘The city doesn’t happen by accident’

CommonWealth’s Jennifer Smith is joined by the head of the Boston Housing Authority, Kenzie Bok, to discuss housing justice, the role of public housing in the city and commonwealth, and what’s on the horizon in the world of public housing.

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State public health commissioner leans into ‘hard things’

John McDonough and Paul Hattis talk to Robbie Goldstein, commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, who talks about the inadequate preparedness of the country’s public health infrastructure for COVID, efforts to strengthen local public health departments in Massachusetts, and his belief in the public health-focused approach to problems at Mass. and Cass in the face of criticism that they aren’t working.

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Everything on the table in push for legislative audit

State Auditor Diana DiZoglio’s quest to audit the Massachusetts Legislature – by court, by ballot initiative, even by song and dance – is keeping her locked in an uneasy standoff with leaders of the branch of government where she previously served.

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The costs of drug pricing middlemen

In the fight against ever-rising drug prices, attention is increasingly zeroing in on a little-noticed middleman of the pharmaceutical chain – pharmacy benefit managers.

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A nonprofit news outlet launches in Worcester

The Worcester Chamber of Commerce recently announced its support for the launch of the Worcester Guardian, a nonprofit digital news organization. Tim Murray, the Chamber’s president, joins CommonWealth’s Michael Jonas to discuss the Guardian, local nonprofit journalism, and questions of funding and independence.

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