Tamara Keith

Tamara Keith joined NPR in 2009 as NPR's newest business reporter. Her coverage spans the business world, from the latest trends in housing and consumer spending to new developments in the ongoing financial crisis. In her work, Keith aspires to "make business stories relatable to all our listeners, not just those who read the Wall Street Journal." In early 2010, she was one of NPR's reporters on the ground in Haiti covering the aftermath of the country's disasterous earthquake.

Keith has covered the major stories of the global recession, including developments in housing and banking, as well as everyday business stories for national and local public radio news outlets. Over the course of her career, she has covered other major news events including wildfires in California and the coal ash spill in Tennessee.

Keith has deep roots in public radio, and got her start in news by writing and voicing essays for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday as a teenager. After earning her a journalism graduate degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley (where it was reported she was the youngest person to ever enroll), she went to work for NPR station KQED's California Report, where she covered topics including agriculture and the environment. She then went east to WOSU-AM in Columbus, Ohio, where she reported on politics and the 2004 presidential campaign. Then it was back to her home state of California where she reported again for KQED and KPCC/Southern California Public Radio. Tamara also refined her business reporting skills through work with American Public Media's Marketplace.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a first place trophy from the Society of Environmental Journalists for "Outstanding Story Radio."

In her spare time, she hosts and produces "B-Side Radio," an hour-long public radio magazine and podcast.

She is a recreational triathlete and half-marathon runner. Her husband is a cancer researcher and veterinarian.

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4:12pm

Tue February 18, 2014
The Edge

Canadian Athletes Pumped To Show The Fitter Side Of Curling

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 4:28 pm

Canada's E.J. Harnden delivers the rock during a curling training session in Sochi. "We like to think of ourselves as athletes now and not just curlers," he says.
Wong Maye-E AP

When Jimmy Fallon's version of The Tonight Show premiered Monday night on NBC, guest Will Smith joked about the Olympics:

"I think I could win a gold medal in the thing with the broom — curling!"

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4:43pm

Mon February 17, 2014
Sports

Longtime Pair Take Home First American Ice Dancing Gold

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 7:59 pm

Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the gold medal Monday night in ice dancing. They earned a silver medal in the last Winter Games in Vancouver, and they entered competition favored to win in Sochi.

5:17am

Mon February 17, 2014
Sports

Anticipation Grows That U.S. Ice Dancing Duo Will Win Gold

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 7:57 am

Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White are favored to win gold in ice dancing. The pair took silver in the last Olympic Games in Vancouver, and expectations are high that they'll do even better in Sochi.

9:42am

Sun February 16, 2014
The Edge

U.S. Men's Alpine Skiers Grab Bronze And Silver

Bode Miller of the United States makes a jump during men's super-combined downhill training at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games on Tuesday.
Luca Bruno AP

Athletes prepare for years to compete in the Olympics, and then, in a flash, it's all over. For American speed skaters it's been a terrible Olympics, but U.S. men's Alpine skiers are managing to turn around a medals drought.

In the men's super-G competition Bode Miller won the bronze. At 36 years old, he is the oldest person ever to win a medal in Alpine skiing at the Olympics. It makes him one of the most decorated American winter Olympians, winning a total of six medals in three different Olympics.

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5:08pm

Tue February 11, 2014
Sports

In Olympic First, Women Ski Jumpers Shatter Glass Ceiling

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Sports history was made today at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. For the first time, women were allowed to compete in ski jumping. And some of the women who jumped today had been fighting for equality for their sport for more than a decade.

NPR's Tamara Keith was there at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center and joins us now. And Tamara, let's start first with the medalists, who came out on top today?

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10:25am

Tue February 11, 2014
The Edge

Female Ski Jumpers Finally Make Their Olympic Debut

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 4:53 pm

Lindsey Van trains in Sochi on Sunday. Van has spent the past decade fighting for female ski jumpers to be allowed to compete at the Olympics.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Update at 4:15 p.m. ET: Leaping Into History

When American Sarah Hendrickson launched herself down the 90-meter jumping hill in Sochi, she flew into history, becoming the first woman to ski jump in Olympic competition. She ultimately finished in 21st place.

Carina Vogt from Germany brought home the gold. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria took silver, and France's Coline Mattel, 18, won bronze.

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3:45am

Tue February 11, 2014
The Edge

U.S. And Canadian Women's Hockey Brings Plenty Of Heat To The Ice

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:28 pm

The rival teams have already clashed during a Sochi Olympics preparation game last December. They will face each other in an early round game Wednesday.
Abelimages Getty Images

Wednesday, the American women's hockey team meets its arch rival Canada on the ice in Sochi at the Winter Olympics. It's an early round game, but when it comes to these two teams, which are expected to meet in the gold medal game, there's no such thing as a low-stakes match.

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2:03pm

Mon February 10, 2014
The Edge

So Far At The Games, A Low-Key Response To Russia's Anti-Gay Law

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 4:26 pm

Cheryl Maas of the Netherlands, after her second run in the women's snowboard slopestyle semifinal in Sochi on Sunday.
Sergey Ilnitsky EPA/Landov

Leading up to the Olympics in Sochi, a dominant storyline was Russia's anti-gay propaganda law and what it might mean for athletes and other visitors. Would athletes protest in any way? Would Russian LGBT activists try to demonstrate against the propaganda law at the Olympics?

The answers (so far, at least) are: barely, and not really.

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8:53am

Sat February 8, 2014
The Edge

First Gold Medal Goes To An American

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 1:59 pm

United States' Sage Kotsenburg takes a jump during the men's snowboard slopestyle final at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, on Saturday.
Sergei Grits AP

Slopestyle snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg has won the first gold medal in the Sochi Olympics. Kotsenburg, 20, is from Park City, Utah, and seemed surprised by the whole thing.

He wasn't expected to medal and then he brought out a move he calls the "Holy Crail."

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6:17pm

Thu February 6, 2014
The Edge

Sochi's Stray Dogs Melt Hearts, And Put Officials On Defensive

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:28 pm

Olympic volunteers pet a stray dog in downtown Sochi, Russia, on Tuesday. The city's long-standing contract with a pest control company has animal right groups concerned about the fate of the many strays roaming the area.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

It's after dark in Sochi, and a pack of stray dogs is hogging the sidewalk like they own the place. There are a dachshund mix, several random mutts and one dog that looks like it may be part chow. They're cute and look like pets; seemingly well-fed and with decent pedigrees.

That is, until a fight breaks out. It's loud but ultimately more dog park than street fight, and the dogs quickly get back to prancing around and eating abandoned leftovers.

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3:30am

Wed February 5, 2014
The Edge

One Prediction Of Sochi Doom That Hasn't Happened

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 8:29 am

More than 400 snow-making machines are keeping the ski slopes of Sochi covered in snow.
Tamara Keith NPR

Heading into the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, there were many predictions of trouble — possible terrorism, incomplete construction, unsold tickets and not enough snow. Well, you can take that last item off the list.

Skiers zip by on a practice run at the Rosa Khutor alpine ski course in Russia with not a cloud in the sky above them. You can't hear the skis, though, because there's a snow-making machine blasting water into the cool, dry air. It mists down onto the ground below in fine ice particles: man-made snow.

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3:41am

Tue February 4, 2014
Politics

The Deficit: The Talk Is Big, But The Number Is Shrinking

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:12 am

The deficit is the nation's annual budget shortfall, the difference between what the government spends in one year and what it takes in. In 2009, '10, '11 and '12, it was huge.

"You look at the president's budget," said House Speaker John Boehner in 2012, "and we've got trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see."

"We're going to have trillion-dollar deficits for years to come," said former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul.

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5:17pm

Sun February 2, 2014
The Edge

After Decade-Long Fight, Ski Jumper Lindsey Van Is 'Ready To Fly'

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 6:34 pm

Lindsey Van at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships last year, in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
Mike Hewitt Getty Images

For more than a decade, ski jumper Lindsey Van dreamed of making the U.S. Olympic team, but one thing held her back: Female ski jumpers weren't allowed to compete. Until this year.

This month, the 29-year-old from Park City, Utah, will be one of the athletes competing at the Olympics on the U.S. women's ski jumping team. For Van, that competition marks the end of a very long road.

"Honestly, I don't really have words for it," she said at a press conference announcing the team. "I'm just completely overwhelmed and happy to be representing my sport."

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5:30pm

Wed January 29, 2014
Politics

The State Of The Union Goes On Tour

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:00 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. President Obama is on the road today. He's busy making the case for some of the ideas he rolled out last night in his State of the Union address. First stop, a warehouse store in Maryland. There, the president made a multipronged pitch around raising the minimum wage. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith begins our coverage.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Expect to hear this a lot in the coming weeks and months.

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3:40am

Thu January 23, 2014
Sports

7 Facts And 3 GIFs: Hellooo Curling

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 1:39 pm

Potomac Curling Club members (from left) Miriam Terninko, Christopher Richard, Joe Rockenbach and Henrique Kempenich await the arrival of stones to the house during a match Jan. 18 at National Capital Curling Center in Laurel, Md.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Most of the sports in the Winter Olympics involve great physical strength or agility. The goals are easy to understand: to go faster, to jump farther or more spectacularly. But one Olympic sport — curling — is as much about strategy and physics as physicality.

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5:01pm

Wed January 22, 2014
Law

Obama Launches Task Force To Combat Sexual Assault

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

One in five women: that's the number of women who have been sexually assaulted in college, according to a new White House report. As NPR's Tamara Keith tells us, today, President Obama formally set up a task force that's charged with protecting students.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: President Obama made it clear that preventing sexual assault is personal for him.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is a priority for me not only as president and commander in chief but as a husband and a father of two extraordinary girls.

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3:36am

Mon January 20, 2014
Politics

Wielding A Pen And A Phone, Obama Goes It Alone

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 8:04 am

President Obama has alluded to his pen and his phone as two tools that help him act without waiting for congressional approval.
Getty Images

President Obama has a new phrase he's been using a lot lately: "I've got a pen, and I've got a phone."

He's talking about the tools a president can use if Congress isn't giving him what he wants: executive actions and calling people together. It's another avenue the president is using to pursue his economic agenda.

'If Congress Is Deadlocked'

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1:39pm

Fri January 17, 2014
National Security

Obama Outlines 'New Approach' For Phone-Data Program

Coverage of President Obama's speech Friday wraps up with analysis of his proposed steps to "transition" rather than end the NSA program.

5:43pm

Tue January 7, 2014
It's All Politics

Senate Unexpectedly Moves Forward On Unemployment Benefits

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 9:05 pm

Katherine Hackett of Connecticut introduces President Barack Obama during a White House event on unemployment insurance Jan. 7. Hackett spoke about her financial struggles during unemployment before Obama put pressure on the House to extend benefits.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The Senate surprised quite a few people in Washington today when it voted to proceed on a bill to temporarily extend emergency unemployment benefits. Six Republicans joined Democrats in voting to get the measure over a key procedural hurdle.

But it was only the first step, and the president is applying pressure to keep it moving.

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4:38pm

Mon December 30, 2013
Sports

At Long Last, Female Ski Jumpers Can Go For Olympic Gold

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 6:50 pm

First-place finisher Jessica Jerome competes in the women's ski jumping event at the U.S. Olympic trials in Park City, Utah, on Sunday.
Jim Urquhart AP

In Park City, Utah, on Sunday, ski jumper Jessica Jerome, 27, became the first woman to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

But to get to this point has been a fight.

Ski jumping has been an Olympic sport since the advent of the Winter Olympics — that is, men's ski jumping. But for the women — who often soar just as far if not farther than the men — it has been a fight that took them to a Canadian courtroom and was marked with years of setbacks. They were told again and again that women's ski jumping wasn't at a high enough caliber to be in the games.

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3:17am

Wed December 25, 2013
Politics

How House Speaker Boehner Survived A Roller-Coaster Year

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 7:04 pm

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, after talking to reporters on Capitol Hill this month. House Republicans openly revolted against the speaker several times in 2013.
Win McNamee Getty Images

House Speaker John Boehner ends 2013 after quite a roller-coaster ride. The Ohio Republican's year was defined by a rocky relationship with the Tea Party wing of the GOP.

The year started for Boehner with an attempt to strip him of his speakership — and ended with some of the same people who had tried to oust him singing his praises.

In January, a vote that should have been routine turned suspenseful as a number of Tea Party-allied Republicans voted against Boehner or didn't vote at all.

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4:45pm

Thu December 19, 2013
Politics

How The Government Spent $2 Billion Paying Workers To Not Work

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:42 pm

Two billion — that's the number of dollars the federal government lost during the partial government shutdown, paying furloughed employees not to work.

6:55pm

Tue December 10, 2013
Politics

House, Senate Negotiators Announce Deal To Avert Another Shutdown

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 12:30 pm

House and Senate negotiators said late Thursday that they reached a budget deal. The agreement would restore some of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, and includes some relatively small deficit reduction over the next two years. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., hammered out the deal, which they characterized as a step in the right direction that would avoid another government shutdown in mid-January if both the House and Senate approve the budget.

4:34pm

Mon December 9, 2013
Politics

Congress Tries To Craft Budget Deal Before Holiday Break

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:45 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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3:05am

Wed December 4, 2013
The Salt

Why $7-Per-Gallon Milk Looms Once Again

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 1:29 pm

Sticker shock in the dairy aisle? If the government fails to pass the farm bill, milk prices could spike sometime after the first of the year.
George Frey Landov

The leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees are meeting Wednesday as they continue to try to work out the differences between their respective farm bills. If they fail, the country faces what's being called the "dairy cliff" — with milk prices potentially shooting up to about $7 a gallon sometime after the first of the year.

Here's why: The nation's farm policy would be legally required to revert back to what's called permanent law. In the case of dairy, that would be the 1949 farm bill.

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5:09pm

Mon December 2, 2013
Politics

Unemployment Benefit Program Set To Expire At Year's End

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 7:12 pm

Job seekers attend a March health care job fair in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

More than 1 million people will see their extended unemployment benefits immediately cut off at the end of the month if Congress doesn't act.

An emergency federal benefit program was put in place during the recession to help those who are unemployed longer than six months. That allowed them to get as much as a year and a half of help while they searched for work, even after state benefits ran out.

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1:27pm

Tue November 19, 2013
It's All Politics

Senate Finance Chairman Floats International Tax Code Overhaul

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:20 pm

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., arrives for a hearing with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Capitol Hill last month.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The U.S. tax code is messy, complicated and full of loopholes. And if you're searching for the most incomprehensible, technically dense part of that code, international tax law would be a good place to start.

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2:56am

Thu October 10, 2013
Business

When It Comes To Jobs, Not All Small Businesses Make It Big

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:38 pm

Sweetgreen co-founders Nathaniel Ru (from left), Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet at the opening of a Virginia location last year.
Courtesy of Sweetgreen

Part of a series about small businesses in America

When it comes to job creation, politicians talk about small businesses as the engines of the U.S. economy. It's been a familiar refrain among politicians from both major parties for years.

But it obscures the economic reality. It makes a nice slogan, but it's not really accurate to say that small businesses produce most of the nation's new jobs, says John Haltiwanger, an economics professor at the University of Maryland.

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6:05pm

Wed October 9, 2013
It's All Politics

GOP Shutdown Strategy Gives House A Twilight Zone Feel

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 6:51 pm

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., holds a news conference Oct. 3 with the GOP Doctors Caucus — members of the House who are medical professionals by training — to talk about how the government shutdown is affecting medical research.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

With little progress being made to resolve the government shutdown, House Republicans have decided on a piecemeal strategy.

They have been voting to reopen small pieces of the government — for example, on Wednesday, they approved bills paying for the Federal Aviation Administration and for death benefits to the families of service members.

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5:17am

Thu October 3, 2013
Politics

Why A Handful Of Hard-Liners Has A Hold On Boehner

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

House Speaker John Boehner speaks to the media after a meeting with President Obama at the White House on Wednesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

To understand House Speaker John Boehner's role in the government shutdown, you have to understand the 30 or so House Republican hard-liners and his relationship with them.

It's an uneasy one at best.

"Listen, we've got a diverse caucus," was how Boehner put it in mid-September, shortly after the 30 forced him to ditch his original plan for a temporary government funding bill.

"Whenever we're trying to put together a plan, we've got 233 members — all of whom have their own plan," he said. "It's tough to get them on the same track. We got there."

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