Michel Martin

Michel Martin is curious about many things. "I wonder what it's like to leave everything and everyone you know for the promise of a better life, to run for President, to be a professional athlete, to parent children of a different race," she notes. "I am fascinated by people who live lives different from my own. And at the same time, I feel connected to all of these lives being a journalist, a woman of color, a wife and mother."

All these topics — from immigration to parenting in a multicultural family — are part of Tell Me More, the one-hour daily NPR news and talk show that made its national premiere on April 30, 2007, on public radio stations around the country.

Martin, who came to NPR in January 2006 to develop the program, has spent more than 25 years as a journalist — first in print with major newspapers and then in television. Tell Me More marks her debut as a full-time public radio show host. "What makes public radio special is that it's got both intimacy and reach all at once. For the cost of a phone call, I can take you around the world. But I'm right there with you in your car, in your living room or kitchen or office, in your iPod. Radio itself is an incredible tool and when you combine that with the global resources of NPR plus the commitment to quality, responsibility and civility, it's an unbeatable combination."

While working on the development of Tell Me More, Martin also served as contributor and substitute host for NPR newsmagazines and talk shows, including Talk of the Nation and News & Notes.

Martin joined NPR from ABC News, where she worked since 1992. She served as correspondent for Nightline from 1996 to 2006, reporting on such subjects as the Congressional budget battles, the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, racial profiling and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At ABC, she also contributed to numerous programs and specials, including the network's award-winning coverage of September 11, a documentary on the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas controversy, a critically acclaimed AIDS special and reports for the ongoing series "America in Black and White." Martin reported for the ABC newsmagazine Day One, winning an Emmy for her coverage of the international campaign to ban the use of landmines, and was a regular panelist on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. She also hosted the 13-episode series Life 360, an innovative program partnership between Oregon Public Broadcasting and Nightline incorporating documentary film, performance and personal narrative; it aired on public television stations across the country.

Before joining ABC, Martin covered state and local politics for the Washington Post and national politics and policy at the Wall Street Journal, where she was White House correspondent. She has also been a regular panelist on the PBS series Washington Week and a contributor to NOW with Bill Moyers.

Martin has been honored by numerous organizations, including the Candace Award for Communications from The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Joan Barone Award for Excellence in Washington-based National Affairs/Public Policy Broadcasting from the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association and a 2002 Silver Gavel Award, given by the American Bar Association. Along with her Emmy award, she received three additional Emmy nominations, including one with NPR's Robert Krulwich, at the time an ABC contributor as well, for an ABC News program examining children's racial attitudes.

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Martin graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College at Harvard University in 1980 and has done graduate work at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

12:00pm

Mon August 1, 2011
Can I Just Tell You?

Debt Talks: Getting Locked In And Driving Out

How is negotiating a federal spending plan like getting out of a crowded parking lot?
iStockphoto

I was trying to keep track of the negotiations over raising the debt ceiling this weekend, and all of a sudden, it reminded me of an incident I had in a parking garage near my house last year.

It was late spring or summer, and it was hot. I had the kids with me, and we were finished doing whatever it was we were doing, and we were ready to go home. We jumped into the car and tried to head out. But we could not.

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12:00pm

Fri June 17, 2011
BackTalk

Listeners Connect With Father's Day Essays

Host Michel Martin and Tell Me More Editorial Assistant Lena Moses-Schmitt comb through listener responses from past stories. A grandfather responds to the program's week-long Father's Day essays, and one listener offers a correction to the conversation with Puerto Rican governor Luis Fortuno.

12:00pm

Fri June 10, 2011
BackTalk

Listeners Take Issue With 'Patriotic Millionaires'

Host Michel Martin and producer Veronica Miller comb through listener feedback to conversations from the week. Listeners raise their own questions after hearing about a 200-member group of millionaires asking Obama and Congress to raise their taxes. A former runner also shares her cross country days after listening to a story surronding Teens Run D.C.

12:00pm

Fri May 13, 2011
BackTalk

Listeners Relate To Moms Juggling Kids And ADHD

Host Michel Martin and NPR digital news editor Tanya Ballard Brown comb through listener feedback to this week's recent conversations. Listeners weighed in on Tell Me More's segments about "enhanced interrogation techniques" and parents who manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Ballard Brown also gives an update that the "Anti-Homosexuality Bill" was dropped today from Uganda's parliamentary talks.

12:00pm

Fri May 6, 2011
BackTalk

Listeners Reflect On Freedom Riders' Struggles

Host Michel Martin and NPR digital media editor Tanya Ballard Brown comb through listener feedback and offer updates to recent conversations on Tell Me More. This week, listeners weigh in on the death of Osama bin Laden and the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders. Brown also gives an update that Apple has announced a reduction in how long its iPhones store location tracking data.

1:16pm

Mon May 2, 2011
Can I Just Tell You?

Keeping Focus During Loss

On Friday, I talked to the pastor of a church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was trying to figure out what to say on Sunday to comfort and encourage people in his community who had lost people they love and the homes they had built because of those devastating tornados that ripped through the American South last week.

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12:00pm

Mon May 2, 2011
NPR Story

Keeping Focus During Loss

Host Michel Martin explains that events like Osama Bin Laden's death and the devastating storms in the South bring much needed perspective in the battle between the imperative and the petty in public debate. She questions whether President Obama's call for unity will keep America focused on the issues that matter.

12:00pm

Fri April 29, 2011
BackTalk

Listeners Weigh In On Filmakers' Feud And More

A transgender woman identifies with the brutal beating at a Baltimore McDonald's. Listeners also weigh in on the continuing feud between filmmakers Tyler Perry and Spike Lee. Finally, host Michel Martin speaks with Tell Me More's outgoing "digital media guy" Lee Hill about his new job in Denver.