Ryan Benk

REPORTER / HOST "Indie Endeavour"

Ryan Benk comes to WJCT from Tallahassee, where he worked as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU. Originally from Miami, he graduated with a bachelor's in English literature from Florida State University. During his time in Tallahassee, Ryan also worked as a policy and research analyst for legislative-research firm LobbyTools before returning to public radio at WJCT.

Ryan also edited fiction and poetry for Miami-Dade College's Miambiance magazine, and he produced a short film titled "The Writer."

When he’s not tracking down news, Ryan likes watching films, writing fiction and poetry, and exploring Florida's natural beauty.

Ryan is also the host of "Indie Endeavor."

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A proposed Jacksonville ordinance aimed at diversifying the city’s workforce Tuesday unanimously passed through its first committee, but not without significant skepticism from some Council members.

Councilman Garrett Dennis filed the bill in response to a continuing federal investigation into alleged workplace discrimination at public utility JEA.


El Faro hull underwater
The National Transportation Safety Board

Federal investigators want to know whether sailors aboard the cargo ship El Faro were well-rested enough to deal with the hurricane that sank the freighter in 2015.

That line of questioning opened the Coast Guard’s third and final hearing into what led to the deaths of all 33 crew members aboard. The hearing continues in Jacksonville. 

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Eight female activists from Jacksonville are calling on state and federal officials to keep the Affordable Care Act intact. That’s as Republicans in Washington are talking about repealing and replacing the health care law.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Military equipment manufacturer GRACE Aerospace is moving its headquarters to Jacksonville.

That means the New York-based company’s existing, five person, workforce in Jacksonville is set to grow sixfold.

Company president Steven Carlo said the weather was just one of a few reasons his company decided to make the move south.

“It’s 25 and snowing at home and 75 here, so it’s sort of just a given. There are some real positives — the taxes don't hurt either,” he said.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

After Governor Rick Scott slashed millions of dollars for Northeast Florida projects last year, First Coast lawmakers are entering March’s legislative session ready to play defense.

Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, is angling for more state money for his region.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio is getting pushback from some Jacksonville voters for what they say is weak opposition to President Donald Trump.

Leonard J. DeFrancisci / Wikimedia Commons

The Jacksonville City Council is asking for conservation dollars to clean up First Coast waterways.


Serena Summerfield / WJCT News

The Daily’s Place Amphitheatre is set to open next to EverBank Field in downtown Jacksonville in May.

The new venue is slated to host a lineup of musical acts, including the Doobie Brothers and the Dave Matthews Band.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Health professionals from several Jacksonville hospitals are launching a project to train thousands of people to recognize the signs of mental illness, which can help reduce harmful stigma and get people connected to treatment faster.

But Florida’s lack of mental healthcare resources is still a hurdle.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Negotiations over how to reform Jacksonville’s public employee retirement plans continued Wednesday.


Jeff Wright / Flickr

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Jackson Short is trying to calm fears of downtown safety following two double shootings near the Jacksonville Landing.

401(K)2013 / Wikimedia Commons

Florida is making a database of medical procedures and the average price patients should expect to pay for them.

Members of the House Health and Human Services Committee got a preview of what it may look like Tuesday.


Florida Memory

Jacksonville civil rights groups are considering boycotting the city’s Martin Luther King Breakfast next year over what they say is inaction by the mayor’s office on correcting racial disparities, WJCT first reported last week.

But a letter to Mayor Lenny Curry this Tuesday shows the three groups are not all on the same page.

  

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A new partnership between JEA, Florida State College at Jacksonville and Sandalwood High School is promising to prepare more young people for a career in cyber security.

Fifth World Art / Flickr

A fatal shooting at the Jacksonville Landing on Martin Luther King Day was the second this month near the already struggling downtown landmark.

The Jacksonville Landing shopping mall and entertainment center has had trouble sustaining foot traffic through its iconic northbank structure the last few years, forcing store closures and even the shuttering of a maritime museum.  

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