Karen Brown

Senior Reporter

Karen is a radio and print journalist who focuses on health care, mental health, children’s issues, and other topics about the human condition. She has been a full-time radio reporter since for New England Public Radio since 1998. Her pieces have won a number of national awards, including the National Edward R. Murrow Award, Public Radio News Directors, Inc. (PRNDI) Award, and the Erikson Prize for Mental Health Reporting for her body of work on mental illness.

Karen previously worked as a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer in its South Jersey bureau. She earned a Masters of Journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley in 1996.

She lives with her husband Sean, and twin children, Sam and Lucy, in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Cartoon faces with expressive emotions.
DragonWeer / Creative Commons / pixabay.com/en/users/DragonWeer-5326450

For the last 20 years, a cultural movement and industry based on "happiness" has gained considerable traction in the United States. 

Joe Blumenthal, owner of Downtown Sounds in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Karen Brown / NEPR

As the Christmas shopping season winds down, economists will be taking stock of the country’s retail health.

"Town Hall" in Greenfield, Massachusetts.
File photo / Masslive.com

Fifteen years after changing its government to act like a city, Greenfield, Massachusetts, will now officially be called one. 

Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton
Kevin Gutting / Daily Hampshire Gazette

Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Massachusetts, has just launched a major software transition, requiring hundreds of employees to change the way they record and read patient information.

Slime mold
Aldyn Markle

Academics in Amherst, Massachusetts, have jumped on an unusual source of scientific -- and existential -- investigation: a brainless amoeba known as slime mold.

Mayoral incumbent David Narkewicz and candidate John Riley participated in a campaign debate last week.
Lucas Ropek / The Republican

The two candidates for mayor of Northampton, Massachusetts -- both Democrats -- agree on most of the big issues, from the harm of casinos to the value of being a sanctuary city. But they don't agree on many of the little issues.

Abigail Morris (left) from Amherst, Mass., with Alyssa Helton from Whitesburg, Kentucky.
Karen Brown / New England Public Radio

After the last election, many people felt inspired to mend the country's deep divisions. So when a group of liberal activists in Leverett, Massachusetts, learned that a more conservative community in Letcher County, Kentucky, was open to a cultural exchange, they started to organize.

Appalachia
DM flickr.com/photos/dmott9 / Creative Commons

Two groups of rural voters from Appalachia and Western Massachusetts -- regions that voted very differently in the last election -- are meeting this weekend to seek common ground.

A public service announcement in Northampton, Mass., urges drivers not to pass stopped school buses.
Screen Shot / YouTube

A western Massachusetts town is going all out to support state legislation that would identify drivers who fail to stop for school buses.

George Perrot in a 1985 Springfield police mug shot.
Springfield Police Dept.

There could be far-reaching consequences now that prosecutors have dropped charges against a western Massachusetts man who spent 30 years in prison for a rape he says he did not commit.

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