Tara Murtha



Tara Murtha

Reporting and analysis from policy to pop.

Author of critically acclaimed "Ode to Billie Joe" for the 33 1/3 series

Contact me at



The Performance Art of Dolly Parton

"I always think of her, the Dolly image, like a ventriloquist does his dummy," explained Parton.
Shondaland Link to Story

What She Hasn't Got: An Apology For Sinéad O'Connor

Sinéad O’Connor has become our lady of perpetual redemption.
Refinery29 Link to Story

The Secret Life of Bobbie Gentry

50 years after Ode to Billie Joe, Bobbie Gentry's pioneering career continues to inspire young artists.
Rolling Stone Link to Story

Why is the Legislature papering over its #MeToo crisis?

How to respond to the outrage without taking meaningful action. Link to Story

'9 to 5' Turns 35, and It's Still Radical Today

The plot of 9 to 5 feels nothing short of radical, even (and perhaps especially) today.
Rolling Stone Link to Story

In a new book, domestic workers get their #MeToo moment. We need to listen.

Here to find the American dream, domestic workers often discover a nightmare.
The Washington Post Link to Story

The latest excuse Pa. is using to stall on sexual harassment | Opinion

How many scandals will it take to get the PA Legislature to protect against sexual harassment? Link to Story

Pregnant Women Are Excluded From Efforts to Address the Opioid Epidemic

Attacks on reproductive rights are colliding with the opioid epidemic to target pregnant people.
Law.Com Link to Story

Can behavioral science make journalism better?

How science can help journalists navigate a post-fact, digital-first world.
Poynter. Link to Story

When 'activist' is used as a weapon

We should pay more attention to the word “activist” and how it is used in the news.
Poynter. Link to Story

RADIO: Ode to an Enigma: How Bobbie Gentry ghosted us all

Radio piece featuring Donovan, Susanna Hoffs & Tara Murtha on pioneering artist Bobbie Gentry.
PRI/Public Radio International Link to Story

Why it's so hard to get abortion coverage right

Reproductive health is a multi-beat topic in the daily news, yet coverage of abortion so often falls short.
Poynter. Link to Story


Tara Murtha

Features, analysis, essays + arts.

I'm into thinking and writing about trauma-informed journalism, public interest communications in a digital post-fact world, music and art, reproductive rights, books, issues related to violence against women, wonky health policy, forgotten pop histories, true crime, rock and roll, old Hollywood and country stars.

Author of critically acclaimed "Ode to Billie Joe," published by the 33 1/3 series, Bloomsbury.

I'm an Ochberg Fellow at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, Columbia University.

I've won some local, regional and national journalism awards.

I write songs too but you'll probably never hear them.