Karen Duffin

Karen Duffin is a co-host and reporter for Planet Money, NPR's award-winning podcast that finds creative, entertaining ways to make sense of the big, complicated forces that move our economy. She joined the team in March 2018.

Before that, she was a producer at This American Life. She also worked for several years as an independent producer, reporting stories for shows like Radiolab, More Perfect, Reply All, The Moth, Pop Up Magazine, On the Media, and others. Karen has also been a Moth story coach and mainstage storyteller, and has taught radio at the Columbia and CUNY Graduate Schools of Journalism.

Her stories blend in-depth reporting with narrative storytelling about everything from the death penalty to the world's largest treehouse, America's first major interrogation program, the Patriot Act and San Francisco's "Spider-Man" burglar.

Before becoming a journalist, Karen spent several years as a speechwriter, working in more than 20 countries.

In 2010, Martin Greenberg walked up to the 13th hole at a golf course owned by Donald J. Trump. He was competing in a charity golf tournament, and this hole was a special one. It was the location of the million dollar hole-in-one contest, so a million dollars was on the line. A police officer was standing by, just to make sure no funny business happened.

Greenberg pulled back his golf club, hit the ball, and got the hole-in-one. That was the easy part.

This episode originally ran on March 15, 2013.

Sometimes your success depends on how your competitors behave. People judge you not just by your product, but by the product that your rival down the street makes.

This is a problem for Lou Caracciolo. He's trying to make high-quality wine, from grapes he grows in New Jersey. But Jersey wine already has a reputation — and fancy isn't it. On today's show: Can New Jersey become the next Napa?

Every time we air an episode, we get a bunch of tweets and emails from our listeners. And then time passes, and... new stuff happens.

Today on the show, we revisit some of our favorite episodes and bring you updates.

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How could politics change if the Supreme Court outlaws partisan gerrymandering? It's being asked to do that. Karen Duffin of our Planet Money podcast reports what happened when Florida banned it.

Note: This is the second episode in a series on elections and how they can be gamed. The first episode is #845: REDMAP. (You can listen in any order!)

Florida should be a swing state. But for the past 25 years, most of its representatives have been Republicans. That's because Republicans drew electoral maps that favored their own candidates. They gerrymandered.

Episode 845: REDMAP

Jun 1, 2018

Local elections used to be a low-key affair in Blue Hill, Maine. So residents of the small town were shocked, in 2010, when a candidate for the Maine State Senate was targeted by a flood of negative ads.

The ads claimed he had canceled the town Fourth of July fireworks show and nobody in town knew who was paying for them.

In the 1940s, if you were flying from New York City to London or Paris you would find yourself making a pit stop for fuel on the western coast of Ireland. The Shannon airport at the time wasn't much to look at, but the passengers arriving there were movie stars and celebrities, basically the super rich. And the people of Shannon realized pretty quickly that they needed to upgrade the local amenities for their wealthy clientele. They hired a man named Brendan O'Regan to make it happen.