Mary Rose Madden

I'm an award-winning narrative journalist and podcast producer. My work takes listeners and readers into the tangles of the human experience through shoe-leather reporting and vivid scene-building.

I filed several investigative longform stories on the Baltimore criminal justice system for Reveal, out of The Center for Investigative Reporting. I captured the personal transformation of two cyclists on a road trip through Vietnam for The Long Game, and for Spotify and Gimlet's Not Past It I put fresh eyes on the history of a notorious medical treatment. I was also a Senior Producer for the podcast, "Cancer Mavericks," a sociological look at a health activists' movement.

For years, I was a full-timer for WYPR, the NPR affiliate in Baltimore where I worked on audio documentaries, launched more than a dozen special projects, and filed hundreds of stories that featured complex characters amidst systemic dysfunction. I also created, produced and reported a number of award-winning series at WYPR, most notably "On the Watch." The series dove into racial inequities in policing and the courts, as well as reform efforts in the wake of Freddie Gray. An excerpt of the reporting was quoted in the DOJ's 2016 critical analysis of the Baltimore Police Department. And the series won numerous journalism awards. I've broken stories and my work has brought legislative change. 

My beats run the gamut. I've reported on mental healthsexting and shaming in middle school and gender identity in adolescence. I'm available for freelance assignments and consulting at

Keeping it real with kids and their mental health

This story is from The Pulse, a weekly health and science podcast. Find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Earlier this year, the eighth graders at Arbutus Middle School in Baltimore County, Maryland shuffled down the long hallways and entered the gymnasium for their first assembly since COVID-19. It seemed like they were either wearing crocs or fancy sneakers, hoodies or jean jackets. They plopped on the gym floor in clusters and whipped out their phones, but n

Residents Take On The Poultry Industry And Ask: Is Living Near Millions of Chickens Making Us Sick?

Aired March 6, 2020 Maryland’s chicken industry, centered on the Eastern Shore, produces billions of pounds of broilers and fryers every year. It also has produced millions of pounds of chicken waste that environmentalists say have harmed the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Now, folks who live near those farms are worrying about how all those chickens are affecting their health as well. Monica Brooks, for example, thought life in the country, starting a church on the lower shore, sounded lovely.

In The Hole: The Rocky Path To Treatment

Aired June 12, 2019 It’s been 48 hours since Darryll Burrell called an intake counselor and got his childhood friend, Al Jackson, a spot in the drug treatment program Powell Recovery in Fells Point. But first, Al wants to get his prescription for suboxone - one of the three FDA approved medications that can help block the craving for heroin, filled. So, for now, Burrell can only sit and wait and worry. He's in his parked car, outside Maryland General Hospital anticpating Al's phone call.

COVID-19 Outbreak At Maryland Psychiatric Hospital Highlights Employee Danger

Aired March 31, 2020 As Gov. Larry Hogan’s press conference was getting underway Monday, Miriam Doyle, a clinical social worker at Clifton T. Perkins Psychiatric Hospital in Howard County for three years, was trying to listen for the updates she says her patients were desperate for. She, her co-workers, and her patients had just learned about the outbreak in their hospital, where eight patients and a staff member had tested positive for Covid-19, and Doyle wanted to hear what the governor had to tell them.

Running from Cops

Aired on Reveal/ Center for Investigative Reporting in April 2017 In cities across America, black men are on the run. On April 4, 2015, in South Carolina, Walter Scott was killed while running away from a police officer. Eight days later, Freddie Gray ran from police in Baltimore. He was caught and later died in custody. On this episode of Reveal, we team up with WYPR to explore the consequences of fleeing from the police through two stories, both set in Baltimore.

"Rwanda's Next Steps: A Generation Living In Genocide's Aftermath" - Series in Four Parts

On a reporting fellowship to Rwanda, Madden filed pieces about the country’s freedom of the press, religion, and economic recovery eighteen years after the genocide. But also, she reported on how children born of rape during the genocide were denied government benefits. It focused on how the government was seemingly looking good on reparations, but political leaders were intentionally leaving out victims of rape and their children. The piece won a national award.

On The Watch: Baltimore Police Tightens Grip On Police Misconduct Records

Aired December 16, 2016 Out of the 327 homicide cases in the city this year, only about 67 of these investigations have been closed. The police need witnesses and information from the community in order to solve cases. But the public wants info from police department, too -- such as the number of complaints made about police misconduct. And what happens to cops who are subject to internal investigations?