Zack Seward


WXXI/Finger Lakes reporter for the Innovation Trail.

Zack Seward had only a few weeks to catch his breath between graduating from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and becoming the first reporter hired for the project.

Prior to his graduate studies, Seward was a production assistant at the PBS NewsHour, where he researched and developed breaking news stories as well as features for both the Health and Arts & Culture units. He also served at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver with the NewsHour, and wrote for the NewsHour's Art Beat blog. 

Seward got his start in public media when he was an anthropology student at the University of Chicago, as a production intern for WTTW's Chicago Tonight. He has also conducted internships in regional transportation planning and neighborhood revitalization. He's originally from San Francisco.

Ways to Connect

Interstate 81 runs through the heart of Syracuse, N.Y., where a 1.4-mile-long elevated stretch of the highway is known locally as "the viaduct." Like many road projects built in the middle of the last century, I-81 is bumping up against the end of its life span. While officials say it's still safe to drive on, the highway is crumbling in parts.

Many upstate communities are anchored by universities.

They draw in students and breathe life into the region. But they also create jobs, fresh ideas and new companies.

The question is: How well is the upstate economy capitalizing on its academic institutions?

That's the topic of our latest Innovation Conversation: Higher Ed's Impact.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked vast reserves of natural gas once thought unreachable. This natural gas is touted as a cleaner fuel that can reduce carbon emissions. But new research is bringing that into question.

Gas Planet, a special hour of radio, explores whether unconventional natural gas drilling can help or hinder efforts to solve climate change.

Primary day?

Jun 26, 2012
Zack Seward / WXXI

Hi, all. It's Tuesday. Here's some Trail Mix.

It's primary day - but you wouldn't know it.

Upstate cities getting "smart" about urban development.

And: Tiger, Wi-Fi and roll-your-own cigarettes - oh my!

New York's largest private sector employer is Walmart. (CORRECTION 10:39 a.m.: The largest private sector employer is North Shore-LIJ Health System. I was supplied with an earlier, incorrect version of the report.)

The network of downstate hospitals employs 37,000 New Yorkers, according to new data from the Center for Governmental Research (CGR).

Walmart, the second-largest private employer in the state, employs the equivalent of 28,000 full-time workers.