Jennifer Ludden

Jennifer Ludden is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. She covers a range of stories on family life and social issues.

In recent years, Ludden has reported on the changing economics of marriage, the changing role of dads, the impact of rising student debt loads, and the ethical challenges of modern reproductive technology.

Ludden helped cover national security after the 9/11 attacks, then reported on the Bush administration's crackdown on illegal immigrants as well as Congressional efforts to pass a sweeping legalization. She traveled to the Philippines for a story on how an overburdened immigration bureaucracy keeps families separated for years, and to El Salvador to profile migrants who had been deported or turned back at the border.

Prior to moving into her current assignment in 2002, Ludden spent six years as a foreign reporter for NPR covering the Middle East, Europe, and West and Central Africa. She followed the collapse of the decade-long Oslo peace process, shared in two awards (Overseas Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists) for NPR's coverage of the Kosovo war in 1999, and won the Robert F. Kennedy award for her coverage of the overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

When not navigating war zones, Ludden reported on cultural trends, including the dying tradition of storytellers in Syria, the emergence of Persian pop music in Iran, and the rise of a new form of urban polygamy in Africa.

Before joining NPR in 1995, Ludden reported in Canada, and at public radio stations in Boston and Maine.

Ludden graduated from Syracuse University in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in English and Television, Radio and Film Production.

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Around the Nation
5:43 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Group Makes Character Key Part Of Reducing Baltimore Unemployment

Graduates of a training program pose for a portrait after a completion ceremony at the Center for Urban Families.
Courtesy of the Center for Urban Families

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 3:01 pm

In a West Baltimore classroom, three dozen adults — all African-American, mostly men — are in their first week of "pre-employment training."

"Show me Monday, what does Monday look like," asks the instructor. They all raise one hand high above their head.

"That's where the energy should be every day," she says. "Stay alert!" The class responds in unison: "Stay alive."

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Around the Nation
7:57 am
Sun May 10, 2015

Play Date Protest Held In Support Of 'Free Range' Parents

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 1:29 pm

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Around the Nation
4:30 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Students Say University Of Mary Washington Failed To Address Yik Yak Threats

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 6:07 pm

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Law
4:29 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Six Baltimore Police Officers Face Criminal Charges In Freddie Gray's Death

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 9:18 pm

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Around the Nation
5:16 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Some Baltimore Residents Say They Don't Trust Police, Politicians

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 10:12 pm

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Around the Nation
5:50 am
Tue April 28, 2015

National Guard Deployed To Baltimore; Riots Break Out After Gray's Funeral

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 1:42 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
8:14 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Baltimore Mayor Condemns Violent Protesters At Press Conference

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 10:24 pm

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Around the Nation
6:57 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Violent Protests Erupt In Baltimore After Freddie Gray's Funeral

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 10:21 pm

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Law
5:21 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Thousands Say Goodbye To Freddie Gray In Baltimore

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 8:14 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Protests in Baltimore turned violent today. Rocks and bricks have been thrown. There are reports of looting, and police say they are promising to take any precautions necessary to assure public safety.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Around the Nation
4:40 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Protests Continue In Baltimore Over Death Of Freddie Gray

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 6:55 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Law
5:37 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Baltimore Police Investigate Suspect's Fatal Spinal Cord Injury

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 3:06 pm

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Goats and Soda
5:00 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Thousands Of Young Women In U.S. Forced Into Marriage

A year ago, Lina says her parents took her to Yemen because her grandmother was gravely ill. But when the family arrived, Lina's father announced that she would be getting married to a local man.
Renee Deschamps Getty Images/Vetta

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 8:13 pm

Lina describes herself as strong and independent. Born in Yemen and brought to the U.S. as a toddler, the 22-year-old now works retail at a mall to pay her way through college.

"I was raised very, very Americanized. I did sports, I did community service, I worked," Lina says. (NPR is not using her full name because she fears retribution from her family.)

When people hear her story, she says they tell her, "I never thought that this would ever happen to you."

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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

#NPRreads: In Defense Of California And Wearing The Same Thing To Work Daily

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 4:34 pm

#NPRreads is a new feature we're testing out on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom will share pieces that have kept them reading. They'll share tidbits on Twitter using the #NPRreads hashtag, and on occasion we'll share a longer take here on the blog.

This week, we bring you a bounty of six super insightful reads.

From Jennifer Ludden, a national correspondent for NPR News:

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Politics
5:11 am
Thu April 2, 2015

What's Changed Since The First Religious Liberty Law Was Passed In 1993?

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 9:01 pm

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The Salt
3:59 am
Thu April 2, 2015

When Wal-Mart Comes To Town, What Does It Mean For Workers?

Jessey Drewsen, 25, lives near the H Street Wal-Mart in Washington, D.C. She says she doesn't like the store, but that she goes there for cheap supplies like pens.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 3:58 pm

This is the second in a two-part story about Wal-Mart. Read and listen to Part 1 here.

One of the biggest objections critics often raise about Wal-Mart is how it treats its workers.

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Politics
5:14 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Controversy Continues Over Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:57 am

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Shots - Health News
3:36 am
Wed March 11, 2015

States Aim To Restrict Medically Induced Abortions

A view of the eastern entrance to the Ohio Statehouse.
Bob Hall/Flickr

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 5:08 pm

Of the million or so women who have abortions every year in the U.S., nearly a quarter end their pregnancy using medications. But just as states have been passing a record number of restrictions on surgical abortion, more are trying to limit this option as well.

One of the country's strictest laws is in Ohio. To understand it, a little history helps.

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Shots - Health News
4:38 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

States Fund Pregnancy Centers That Discourage Abortion

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 8:07 pm

Google "abortion Columbus" and halfway down the first page is a headline: "Your Right to Choose, Abortion in Columbus." It's for Pregnancy Decision Health Center, or PDHC, a chain of six sites in Ohio's capital whose aim is actually to guide women out of having the procedure.

Like many of the thousands of crisis pregnancy centers across the U.S., the PDHC near Ohio State University is right next door to a Planned Parenthood. There's a cozy room for private chats and a larger open space decorated in soothing colors.

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Shots - Health News
3:37 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Abortion Restrictions Complicate Access For Ohio Women

Abortion-rights opponent Brian Normile of Beavercreek, Ohio, holds up a poster during a prayer vigil outside Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C., in January.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 8:12 pm

Ohio may not have gotten the national attention of say, Texas, but a steady stream of abortion restrictions over the past four years has helped close nearly half the state's clinics that perform the procedure.

"We are more fully booked, and I think we have a harder time squeezing patients in if they're earlier in the pregnancy," says Chrisse France, executive director of Preterm. It's one of just two clinics still operating in Cleveland, and its caseload is up 10 percent.

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Shots - Health News
5:12 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Kids' Solo Playtime Unleashes 'Free-Range' Parenting Debate

People who practice free-range parenting say it makes kids more independent, but others see it as neglect. State and local laws don't specify what children are allowed to do on their own.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 2:57 pm

Parents have made news recently after being detained for purposefully leaving children on their own, prompting renewed debate about so-called "free-range parenting."

That includes Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, a Silver Spring, Md., couple who are being investigated after they let their children, ages 10 and 6, walk home from a park last month by themselves.

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