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Mitchell Hartman

Senior Reporter


I am a staff reporter for Marketplace covering the economy, economic indicators, employment, labor and workforce.

What was your first job?

I had a job every summer during college running the receiving dock in a large sheet metal factory in North Jersey that made cans. My first job in journalism was as an editorial clerk at the Philadelphia Inquirer after graduating college in 1985.

What do you think is the hardest part of your job that no one knows?

Marketplace has among the tightest deadlines and the most demanding expectations for daily news stories of any national public radio newsroom IMHO.

What advice do you wish someone had given you before you started this career?

If you love your job, stick with it. If you're really good at something, keep doing it.

In your next life, what would your career be?

Bodhisattva (in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, a being on the brink of enlightenment who could end the cycle of rebirth and gain nirvana but chooses to return out of compassion for other beings). Seriously, if I came back in a next life, it would confirm this teaching and I would care more about being in harmony with the universe than having another career. If I had to choose a career (and just be a bodhisattva on the side, I guess), I'd be a public radio reporter again.

Fill in the blank: Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you ______.


What is something that everyone should own, no matter how much it costs?

Health insurance.

What’s something that you thought you knew but later found out you were wrong about?

Being a parent would constrain my choices and box me in. It did, but I didn't care.

What’s your most memorable Marketplace moment?

Emceeing a Sotheby's auction of literary memorabilia from the Beat Generation — I sold Jack Kerouac's last shot glass for high six figures. (As David Brancaccio was oft-required to say on air after segments like this: “It was a joke!”)

What’s the favorite item in your workspace and why?

Eve Epstein, my former editor and now office mate in the Marketplace Portland bureau at All Classical Portland.

Latest Stories (1,615)

Lego's building a big profit

Dec 24, 2008
While most retailers are experiencing a dismal holiday shopping season, Lego may see a record gain in U.S. sales this year. Mitchell Hartman explains why the construction toy company is building a profit.

Portland retailers stuck in the cold

Dec 23, 2008
It's been a dismal holiday season for retailers. Consumer spending is down, and the bad weather isn't helping matters. Mitchell Hartman reports on how business owners in Portland are coping with a chilly holiday shopping season.

Laid-off employees get litigious

Dec 22, 2008
Employers hoping to cut costs are laying off workers across the nation. But laid-off employees who feel they've been wrongfully terminated aren't going down easily. They're fighting back -- with workplace discrimination lawsuits. Mitchell Hartman reports.

Oatmeal: It's what's for breakfast

Dec 22, 2008
A number of fast-food chains have recently added oatmeal to the menu. The breakfast staple is a cheaper alternative to the three-egg omelette, and a favorite of Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman, who found a good oatmeal in Portland.

How to steer clear of Ponzi schemes

Dec 19, 2008
With so many smart people duped by a seemingly sound investment operation, how can we detect a Ponzi scheme in the future? Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman talks to Tess Vigeland about how to identify a sketchy deal.
Bernard Madoff
Courtesy of Street Insider website

So what's a Ponzi scheme anyway?

Dec 19, 2008
You may have heard the term "Ponzi scheme" recently. Bernard Madoff's massive investment scam is an example of one. Mitchell Hartman reports on who Ponzi is and his scheming ways.

Employees take hit as pay raises dip

Dec 16, 2008
A new survey says companies are scaling back on pay raises. Employee benefits may also take a hit in the near future as out-of-pocket expenses like co-pays are expected to rise. Mitchell Hartman reports.

Entrepreneurs surviving first recession

Dec 16, 2008
For young entrepreneurs who have never gone through a recession, the current economy can be scary. But some are taking on the crisis as a valuable learning experience, and can find advantages. Mitchell Hartman reports.

A wish list for small businesses

Dec 11, 2008
Small businesses want a number of things from the incoming Obama administration, including some of the money from the federal bailout. Health insurance and credit card reform are also on the agenda. Mitchell Hartman reports.

Credit unions getting federal help too

Dec 9, 2008
Federal regulators will make billions in new loans available to help so-called "corporate" credit unions, which pool money from retail credit unions and invest it. Now those investments aren't looking so good. Mitchell Hartman reports.