Chris Arnold is a correspondent with NPR's investigations team. His stories often focus on people who are being mistreated and need help. Recently he's been reporting on election officials and workers around the country who are being targeted with threats and harassment fueled by Donald Trump's false claims about voter fraud and rigged elections.
Arnold was honored with a 2017 George Foster Peabody Award for his coverage of the Wells Fargo banking scandal. His stories sparked a Senate inquiry into the bank's treatment of employees who tried to blow the whistle on the wrongdoing.
His series of stories "The Trouble with TEACH Grants," that he reported from 2018 - 2020 with NPR's Cory Turner, exposed a debacle at the U.S. Department of Education through which public school teachers had grants unfairly converted into large student loan debts — some upwards of $20,000. As a result of the stories, members of Congress demanded reforms and the Education Department overhauled the program and is now giving thousands of teachers their grant money back and erasing their debts. The stories won a 2020 Edward R. Murrow Award.
Arnold was chosen for a Nieman Journalism Fellowship at Harvard University during the 2012-2013 academic year. He joined a small group of other journalists from the U.S. and abroad and studied economics, leadership and the future of journalism in the digital age. Arnold also taught Radio Journalism as a Lecturer at Yale University for 4 years prior to the pandemic.
In addition to reporting for NPR's flagship radio programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Arnold was on the creative team that started NPR's Life Kit podcast. He has hosted many of its personal finance episodes which offer listeners actionable tips backed up by behavioral economics research on the best ways to save money, invest for the future and a range of other topics.
Arnold won the 2016 Gerald Loeb Award, which honors work that informs and protects the private investor and the general public, for a series of stories about financial firms charging excessive fees in retirement accounts — fees that siphon billions of dollars annually from Americans trying to save for the future.
Arnold also won the National Association of Consumer Advocates Award for Investigative Journalism for a series of stories he reported with ProPublica that exposed improper debt collection practices by non-profit hospitals who were suing thousands of their low-income patients.
Following the 2008 financial crisis and collapse of the housing market, Arnold reported on problems within the nation's largest banks that led to the banks improperly foreclosing on thousands of American homeowners. For this work, Arnold earned a 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award for the special series, "The Foreclosure Nightmare." He's also been honored with the Newspaper Guild's 2009 Heywood Broun Award for broadcast journalism.
Over his career at NPR, Arnold has covered a range of subjects — from Katrina recovery in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, to immigrant workers in the fishing industry, to a new kind of table saw that won't cut your fingers off. He traveled to Turin, Italy, for NPR's coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics. He has also followed the dramatic rise in the numbers of teenagers abusing the powerful and highly addictive painkiller Oxycontin.
In the days and months following the Sept. 11 attacks, Arnold reported from New York and contributed to the NPR coverage that won the Overseas Press Club and the George Foster Peabody Awards. He chronicled the recovery effort at Ground Zero, focusing on members of the Port Authority Police department as they struggled with the deaths of 37 officers — the greatest loss of any police department in U.S. history.
Prior to his move to Boston, Arnold traveled the country for NPR doing feature stories on entrepreneurship. His pieces covered technologists, farmers and family business owners. He also reported on efforts to kindle entrepreneurship in economically disadvantaged areas ranging from inner-city Los Angeles to the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota.
Arnold has worked in public radio since 1993. Before joining NPR, he was a freelance reporter working out of San Francisco's NPR Member Station, KQED.