Ashley Westerman

Ashley Westerman is an associate producer who occasionally directs the show. Since joining the staff in June 2015, she has produced coverage of a coal mine closing near her hometown, the 2016 Republican National Convention and the Rohingya refugee crisis in southern Bangladesh. Ages ago (2011), Ashley was a summer intern with Morning Edition and pitched a story on her very first day. She went on to work as reporter and host for member station 89.3 WRKF in Baton Rouge, La., where she earned awards covering everything from healthcare to jambalaya. Ashley is a two-time reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists. Through its programs, she has covered labor issues in her home country of the Philippines for NPR and health care in Appalachia for Voice of America. She tweets @NPRAshley.

The way people perceive their country's economic conditions plays a big role in whether they view their lives more positively now compared with the past, according to a study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.