Marianne McCune

Marianne McCune is a correspondent and editor for NPR’s Rough Translation, a show about how the things we talk about in the U.S. are being talked about in other parts of the world. While reporting in New York for NPR (Planet Money) and WNYC, she followed her stories to Pakistan, Ethiopia, Haiti, Mexico, Colombia and elsewhere. She also founded Radio Rookies, WNYC's award-winning series of stories from New York teenagers. She’s currently based in San Francisco, where she has also produced a dozen audio documentaries that, via a location-based app called Detour, move listeners through stories — from a history of the gay rights movement in the Castro to a skeptic’s walk through SFMOMA’s art galleries.

Marianne McCune appears in the following:

Episode 6: 'Please Lock Up My Kid'

Friday, March 23, 2018

One of the most notable entry points in the school-to-prison pipeline opened when desperate parents turned to law enforcement for help keeping their kids out of trouble.


Rough Translation: American Surrogates

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Wealthy Chinese woman are hiring Americans to be surrogate moms. We explore how the relationship between a Chinese woman and her American surrogate changed during a particularly difficult pregnancy.


A Pesticide, A Pigweed And A Farmer's Murder

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

One farmer's improper use of an herbicide damaged another's field and led to a shooting. The dispute reveals divisions among neighbors and economic tradeoffs over the right way to farm.


Episode 775: The Pigweed Killer

Friday, June 02, 2017

A battle with a weed divides neighbors and leads one farmer to shoot another dead. Today's show: The hunt for a better pesticide gets way out of hand.


'Our Industry Follows Poverty': Success Threatens A T-Shirt Business

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The Planet Money men's T-shirt was made in Bangladesh, by workers who make about $3 a day, with overtime. The Planet Money women's T-shirt was made in Colombia, by workers who make roughly $13 a day, without overtime.

The wages in both places are remarkably low by U.S. standards. But ...


Rehabilitating Juarez’s International Image

Friday, August 23, 2013

Over the past couple years, violence in Ciudad Juarez has fallen from its peak levels, but the city (along with its neighbor across the border, El Paso) is still trying to revitalize its image. Marianne McCune talks to the mayors of El Paso and Juarez about what they're doing to accomplish this, the 2010 decision to leave Juarez off of an El Paso tourism map, and the recent decision to add it back to the map.


Reporting in Juarez

Friday, August 23, 2013

Just across the border from El Paso, Texas, Ciudad Juarez is notorious for the violence that has accompanied a long war between cartels. Marianne McCune goes to Juarez to see how the once-epicenter of Mexico’s drug violence has changed the city and the reporters who risk their lives to cover it.

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When Employees Need More Than An Advance On Their Paycheck

Monday, July 15, 2013

Andrew Rosenkranz says at least two or three times a week, he finds himself sitting across from an employee at his market research firm near Seattle, listening to some complicated personal problem.

Just last week, an employee described how her daughter and baby granddaughter were assaulted by a boyfriend. The ...


Three Ways Brush Factories Are Surviving In America

Friday, June 21, 2013

Brushes are pretty simple: a bunch of flexible fibers sticking out of something stiff. Not surprisingly, Chinese manufacturers have grabbed a big share of the U.S. brush market. But several hundred small U.S. brush factories are still hanging on. Here are three strategies they're using to survive.

1. Compete On ...


When People Make Their Own Banks

Friday, June 14, 2013

Miguelo Rada doesn't seem like the kind of guy who'd have extra cash. He just spent 32 years in prison, he lives in a halfway house in West Harlem, and his current income comes only from public assistance.

He uses food stamps for food, wears hand-me-down clothes and buys almost ...


How Recalculating GDP Can Help App Designers In Nigeria

Friday, May 31, 2013

If you're trying to grow a business in Nigeria and you want investors, you want Nigeria's economy to look as big as possible.

Bayo Puddicombe and Zubair Abubakar own a company called Pledge 51, which creates applications for Nigeria's low-tech cellphones. One of their most popular games lets players ...


Go East, Young Marijuana Dealer

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chuck used to sell marijuana in California. But the legalization of medical marijuana in the state meant he was suddenly competing against hundreds of marijuana dispensaries. So he moved to New York, where marijuana is still 100 percent illegal. Since making the move, he says, he's quadrupled his income. (For ...


Demand For Ammunition Is Up. Why Aren't Prices?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sales of guns and ammunition rose after President Obama took office in 2008, and they went through the roof starting late last year, when a school shooting led to a push for new gun control measures. That's led to a prolonged ammunition shortage, even with manufacturers running at full capacity.



Legal Weed: Addiction

Friday, May 10, 2013

A May series on marijuana continues with a look at addictionMark Kleiman, professor of public policy at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, marijuana legalization consultant for Washington State, and co-author of Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2013) talks about the drug's effects and how legalization might address treatment.  He's joined by WNYC senior reporter Marianne McCune who talks about her piece on abuse and dependence of marijuana, as part of the "Weed Next Door" series.

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From Marijuana to the Medicine Cabinet: A Boy Who Couldn't Stop

Friday, May 10, 2013

Jake’s life started out just right. He lived in a nice house on a nice block of the sophisticated New Jersey town of Montclair. His dad worked for the NFL, his mom a couple days a wee...

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The Evolution of Marijuana Culture

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Marijuana culture in this country is changing. There was legalization of recreational marijuana use back in November in Washington and Colorado. Medical marijuana is still legal in Ca...

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The Weed Trail: From California’s Medical Market to New York’s Underground

Monday, May 06, 2013

Meet Chuck, a San Francisco marijuana dealer. (That’s not his real name. We agreed to keep that to ourselves because, otherwise, he wouldn’t talk to us.) Chuck came to New York from California to sell weed because, here in New York, where his trade is 100% illegal, he can make more money. 

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Nervous Parents In One Country Clear Supermarket Shelves In Another

Friday, April 26, 2013

Liyan Chen, a grad student in New York, was chatting online recently with her cousin in China.

"He said, 'I want Abbott milk powder,' " Chen told me. " 'I want you to buy it and ship it back.' "

Her cousin wanted her to buy three boxes of Abbott ...


A Surprisingly Uncontroversial Program That Gives Money To Poor People

Friday, March 15, 2013

Last year, a federal program called the Earned Income Tax Credit took about $60 billion from wealthier Americans and gave it to the working poor. And here's the surprising thing: This redistribution of wealth has been embraced by every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama.

"This program worked," says ...


Sexual Cyberbullying: The Modern Day Letter A

Friday, December 28, 2012

Many teenagers live half their lives on social media sites, and they're writing the rules as they go. One online trend Radio Rookie Temitayo Fagbenle finds disturbing is "slut-shaming".

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