Adrian Ma covers the economy and other "business-ish" as a co-host and reporter for NPR's daily economics podcast The Indicator from Planet Money. Have a question, story or tip you'd like him to look into? Here's how to get in touch.
To try to understand our ever-changing economy, Ma has ridden with an Amazon driver, explained inflation with a time-traveling demon and documented the curious ritual that is 'speed dating for economists.' He's also analyzed racial disparities in lending, explored what it's like to deliver groceries during an outbreak and captured the final hours of a cafe crushed by the pandemic.
Before joining NPR in 2021, he covered the business beat at member stations WBUR (Boston) and WCPN (Cleveland). 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 2022, he received a National Edward R. Murrow Award and a Public Media Journalists Association (PMJA) award for his story about what it takes to close a restaurant. In 2021, PMJA 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 bought out an American softball team. (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.)
Ma's prior work as a local reporter 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 before that, he worked as a prep cook in a ramen shop.