Adrian Ma covers economics, work, money and other "business-ish" for NPR's daily podcast The Indicator from Planet Money.
To try to understand our ever-changing economy, Adrian has ridden along with an Amazon driver, explained inflation using a time-traveling demon and documented the curious ritual that is 'speed dating for economists.' He's also covered protests for racial and economic justice, explored what it's like to deliver groceries during an outbreak and captured the final hours of a restaurant crushed by the pandemic.
Before joining NPR in 2021, he covered the business beat for member stations WCPN (Cleveland) and WBUR (Boston). Prior to that, he was a producer at WNYC (New York).
Since becoming a reporter in 2017, Ma's work has been recognized with multiple national awards. In 2021, the Public Media Journalists Association awarded him for breaking news coverage of racial justice protests in Boston.
In 2019, he received a National Edward R. Murrow Award and a Gracie Award for his story on why the Chinese government threw money at American softball. (Later that year, he traveled to China, where he reported on the effects of the US-China trade war and on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.)
Adrian's prior work as a local reporter has also earned regional accolades. In 2021, he received a Regional Murrow Award for Excellence in Writing. In 2018, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists named him the winner for Best Radio Feature Reporting, which included a story about how a tiny Midwest convenience store became a Japanese retail giant.
In 2017, the Association of Independents in Radio named him a New Voice Scholar, an honor which highlights emerging talent in the field of audio journalism and storytelling.
His interest in journalism began while studying media law at the University of Maryland School of Law. Later, while working for a federal judge in Baltimore, he decided to "roll the dice" and change careers. In 2016, he obtained a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.
Some years ago, he worked as a prep cook in a ramen shop.