The Improvement Association

Host: Zoe Chace
Podcast Samples:
The Improvement Association - Trailer


About the Podcast

For at least a decade, allegations of cheating have swirled around elections in rural Bladen County, N.C. Some people in town point fingers at a Black advocacy group, the Bladen County Improvement Association, accusing it of bullying voters, tampering with ballots and stealing votes outright. These accusations have never been substantiated, but they persist. Reporter Zoe Chace went to Bladen County to investigate what’s really going on. From the makers of Serial and This American Life, a five-part series about allegations of election fraud — and the powerful forces that fuel them.

About the Host

Zoe Chace

Zoe Chace explains the mysteries of the global economy for NPR’s Planet Money. As a reporter for the team, Chace knows how to find compelling stories in unlikely places, including a lollipop factory in Ohio struggling to stay open, a pasta plant in Italy where everyone calls in sick, and a recording studio in New York mixing Rihanna’s next hit.


In 2008, Chace came to NPR to work as an intern on Weekend Edition Saturday. As a production assistant on NPR’s Arts Desk, she developed a beat covering popular music and co-created Pop Off, a regular feature about hit songs for Morning Edition. Chace shocked the music industry when she convinced the famously reclusive Lauryn Hill to sit down for an interview. Chace got her economic training on the job. She reported for NPR’s Business Desk, then began to contribute to Planet Money in 2011.
Since then Chace has also pitched in to cover breaking news for the network. She reported live from New York during Hurricane Sandy and from Colorado during the 2012 Presidential election. There is much speculation on the Internet about where Chace picked up her particular accent. She explains that it’s a proprietary blend: a New England family, a Manhattan childhood, college at Oberlin in Ohio, and a first job as a teacher in a Philadelphia high school. The radio training comes from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, and collaboration with NPR’s best editors, producers and reporters.

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