Karen is a veteran editor in WNYC’s newsroom, and directs the long-form narrative unit that created the acclaimed podcast series There Goes the Neighborhood and The United States of Anxiety…
Karen lends her expertise as a story whisperer to the New Yorker Radio Hour for the development of long-form features and special episodes like “Syria, The World’s Nightmare.”
As a producer, she launched Senior Edition which helped establish WNYC as a destination for talk and public affairs. She worked for five years as a freelance reporter and producer contributing to National Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Company. As a senior producer at Simon and Schuster Audio, Karen worked with Alice Walker, Bob Woodward, Hunter S. Thompson, Stephen Ambrose and many other notable authors. She returned to public radio as an editor and co-producer for a series of documentaries which included an exploration of the changing NY Waterfront, the 1968 New York City teacher’s school strike and the changes in the city six months after the attacks of September 11th. She took on the senior editorial position in the newsroom in 2003.
Awards for her reporting and editing achievements include recognition by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Armstrong Award, the Dupont-Columbia University Awards, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, The Investigative Reporters and Editors’ Award, The Associated Press Broadcasters Association, the Newswomen’s Club of New York and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences from whom she received a Grammy nomination for her production of “War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars.”
Growing up in southeast Queens and having lived in various neighborhoods around the city, Karen is very happy to continue to document and report on her hometown. On summer weekends, she can be found swimming upriver in the Hudson where she has helped to establish a free floating river pool in Beacon, NY.
Karen Frillmann appears in the following:
Thursday, August 06, 2020
Just one diagnosis can make or break a seemingly endless cycle of incarceration, but for 16-year-old Z, it’s complicated. And frustrating. Our presentation of Caught continues.
Thursday, July 30, 2020
What happens once we decide a child is a criminal? We return to Caught as the nation continues to grapple with long-standing systemic racism in our policing and justice systems.
Friday, July 17, 2020
Afro-Italians like Bellamy Ogak are not born citizens by law. Their story is a reminder why U.S. birthright citizenship is a radical idea: It ended slavery.
Friday, July 10, 2020
Chicago’s Little Village has been hit hard by COVID-19, but after a botched demolition left it coated in dust, one lifelong activist and her community are standing together while apart.
Friday, June 26, 2020
As the nation grapples with a reckoning, we pause to celebrate Juneteenth. Our holiday special, for Black liberation and the ongoing birth of the United States.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Something has been pushed to the surface that can no longer be repressed. And it’s transforming everything— from what we tolerate politically to how we mourn those we’ve lost.
Friday, June 12, 2020
People all over the country are stepping up to make change. But as they do, they face challenges that go beyond Covid-19 and police violence. Two stories, from Chicago and New York City.
Thursday, June 04, 2020
What if we release prisoners with no one to help them? We follow a psychiatrist and social worker as they try to find and support mentally ill inmates being released during a pandemic.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
In the aftermath of Ahmaud Arbery’s killing, Kai calls up "Friday Black" author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah to reflect on love, loss... and American zombies.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
As Covid-19 has hits black communities uniquely hard, here's how one essential worker is coping during the pandemic.
Friday, May 08, 2020
Here's the story of investigative journalist and activist Ida B. Wells, who's courageous anti-lynching work just received a Pulitzer Prize.
Friday, May 01, 2020
There are roughly 2.3 million people in jails and prisons. They can’t socially distance. They can barely wash their hands. So now what?
Friday, April 24, 2020
The pandemic has hit black communities uniquely hard. To understand why, we explore how racism shows up in black bodies — all the way down to the cellular level.
Monday, April 13, 2020
Many of us are bracing for the changes Covid-19 will bring, including to our relationships. So reporter Jenny Casas turned to Benji Hart’s poem as a tool for connecting with one another.
Wednesday, April 08, 2020
Here’s how black women in Chicago used lace and jewels to turn their mandatory face masks into works of art, more than 100 years ago.
Friday, April 03, 2020
From the homeless in San Francisco to immigration detention centers, here's how the response to Covid-19 is undermined by choices that have little to do with healthcare.
Thursday, March 26, 2020
Research shows that racism and other prejudices are most acute when the stakes are high, so Kai talks with Dr. Gail Christopher about how to control for that reality, during a pandemic.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Salah Hasan Nusaif al-Ejaili knows the atrocities that can be committed during a time of crisis. Seventeen years after the American invasion of Iraq, he's still trying to get justice.
Thursday, March 12, 2020
Liberal politics have relied on the same coalition for 160 years. But do black people have any real power in that alliance? Kai Wright and Rashad Robinson discuss presence versus power.
Thursday, February 27, 2020
We speak to descendants of the Great Migration in South Bend, Indiana about their family stories of housing in the “heartland,” and inequity in home ownership today.