Steve Inskeep

Steve Inskeep is host of Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the United States. He co-hosts with Renee Montagne.

Inskeep has traveled across the nation and around the world for Morning Edition and NPR News. From the Persian Gulf to the wreckage of New Orleans, he has interviewed presidents, warlords, authors, and musicians, as well as those who aren't in the headlines — from a steelworker in Ohio to a woman living in poverty in Tehran.

Inskeep's first full-time assignment for NPR was the 1996 presidential primary in New Hampshire. He went on to cover the Pentagon, the Senate, and the 2000 presidential campaign of George W. Bush.

After the September 11 attacks, Inskeep covered the war in Afghanistan, the hunt for al-Qaeda suspects in Pakistan, and the war in Iraq. In 2003, he received a National Headliner Award for investigating a military raid that went wrong in Afghanistan. He has twice been part of the NPR News team that was awarded an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for its coverage of Iraq.

In 2004, Inskeep joined a team that reshaped Morning Edition. Today Morning Edition aggressively covers breaking news, and also, in Inskeep's words, "tries to slow down the news – make sense of information that flies by too quickly, and check glib statements against the facts."

He led Morning Edition teams that hosted the program from New Orleans, Detroit, Karachi, and Tehran; investigated Iraqi police in Baghdad; and received a 2006 Robert F. Kennedy journalism award for "The Price of African Oil," a series on conflict in Nigeria.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Inskeep and NPR's Michele Norris co-hosted "The York Project," a groundbreaking series of conversations about race. Fifteen Pennsylvanians met to talk for hours about a subject that's constantly mentioned, yet not often frankly discussed. This series received a duPont silver baton for excellence.

Although his job often calls for him to deliver bad news, Inskeep looks for the humanity in hard times — and the humor. "I'm inspired," he says, "by the Langston Hughes book Laughing to Keep From Crying. And I'm inspired by people like the Bordelons, who've spoken with us ever since they rode out Hurricane Katrina. At the beginning, they sometimes laughed and cried in the same sentence. Laughter means you survived."

Before coming to NPR, Inskeep worked for public and commercial radio stations in and around New York City. He has written articles for publications including The New York Times and Washington Post. He is also the author of a forthcoming book on the world's growing urban areas, tentatively titled Instant City.

A native of Carmel, Indiana, Inskeep is a 1990 graduate of Morehead State University in Kentucky.

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7:41am

Sun March 23, 2014
NPR Story

Congressmen Are Bullish On The Borderlands

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 11:36 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We begin our next story with the sound of a parade this month in Brownsville, Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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12:22pm

Sat March 22, 2014
Parallels

Always Watching: A Fragile Trust Lines The U.S.-Mexico Border

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 2:21 pm

Dob Cunningham (left) and his friend Larry Johnson look over the edge of Cunningham's 800-acre ranch in Quemado, Texas.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

We drove 2,428 miles on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and it's safe to say that for much of the road trip, we were being watched.

Border Patrol agents, customs officers, cameras, sensors, radar and aircraft track movement in the Borderland. None of that has stopped the struggle to control the border, or the debate over how best to do it.

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5:06am

Fri March 21, 2014
Music

Intocable's Music Straddles The Border

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 10:37 am

Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep stops in Zapata, Texas, in the latest installment of our Borderland series. Zapata is the hometown of the lead singer of Intocable, a band popular on both sides of the border. Ricky Munoz explains how listening to a mix of Mexican music, country hits and rock bands like Def Leppard while growing up influenced his band.

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7:46am

Wed March 19, 2014
Parallels

Borderland: A Journey Along The Changing Frontier

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 5:42 pm

Dob Cunningham (right) and his friend Larry Johnson stand on the edge of Cunningham's 800-acre ranch in Quemado, Texas, which touches the Rio Grande. On the other side, Mexico.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

My colleagues and I drove 2,428 miles and remained in the same place.

We gathered a team, rented a car, checked the batteries in our recorders and cameras. We moved from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. We crossed deserts, plains and mountains. But all the while, we were living in Borderland — zigzagging across the frontier between Mexico and the United States.

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7:42am

Wed March 19, 2014
NPR Story

Remembering The Alamo With A Texas Historian

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:28 am

At The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, historian Frank de la Teja explains how the dividing line between the United States and Mexico came to be drawn where it is.

6:07am

Thu December 19, 2013
Africa

U.S. Diplomat Tours Central African Republic

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:08 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The American ambassador to the United Nations is visiting Central African Republic today. Before becoming a diplomat, Samantha Power was a journalist who wrote about stopping genocide. And now she is visiting a country where there's fear of one. Fighting between Muslims and Christians has killed nearly 1,000 people. NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with Ambassador Power. She's on the line. Hi, Michele.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: Where are you now, and what have you seen?

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5:14am

Tue November 26, 2013
Environment

A View From China, India On Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:28 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Well, let's hear from some of the rest of the world. We're gonna go to China and India and to NPR correspondents in those countries, beginning with NPR's Anthony Kuhn in Beijing. Hi, Anthony.

ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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4:23am

Tue November 19, 2013
Research News

Study: Commuting Adversely Affects Political Engagement

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 12:04 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Okay. We all know about the partisan divide in this country - Democrats, Republicans - but there's another political divide. Part of the country is very engaged in the political process and part is not.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Older Americans, richer Americans and better educated Americans are more likely to be politically engaged. Now researchers have found one more factor that seems to shape political engagement, the length of your commute. It comes to our attention as MORNING EDITION focuses on commuting.

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8:12am

Fri November 15, 2013
Asia

China Expected To Loosen One-Child Policy

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 10:49 am

A state-run news service says the government will make a big change to the policy designed to restrain population growth. That policy has also led to a relative shortfall of young people and especially of girls.

6:27am

Thu November 14, 2013
Asia

Grim Details Reveal Brutal Effects Of Philippine Typhoon

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 9:25 am

The official death toll from the typhoon is expected to keep rising — thousands are still missing. Aid continues to come into the Philippines from around the world, but its flow is being hampered by poor logistics. The central government is being blamed for not doing more.

8:15am

Tue November 12, 2013
Asia

Tacloban Took Brunt Of Typhoon Haiyen

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We have two perspectives now on the destruction a typhoon left behind in the Philippines. The first is the view from the air. It comes from U.S. Marine Brigadier General Paul Kennedy, who is coordinating an American military effort to help typhoon survivors. Not long ago, General Kennedy stepped on board a helicopter for what he called reconnaissance. He flew over a wide strip of land struck by one of the strongest storms on record.

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11:47am

Wed October 16, 2013
Research News

Why College Freshmen May Feel Like Impostors On Campus

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Tens of thousands of freshman have just finished their first month in college. They've signed up for classes, met a bunch of other people and, if history is any guide, asked themselves a question: What am I doing here? Everyone else is smarter and better adjusted than I am. And for some, that question totally changes the college experience, may even cause them to drop out, which is why a researcher was determined to intervene. He told his story to NPR's Shankar Vedantam, who's here to tell it to us. Hi, Shankar.

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7:46am

Mon October 14, 2013
Business

3 American Economists Win Nobel Prize

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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4:21am

Mon October 14, 2013
Planet Money

Prize In Economics A Latecomer To Nobel Lineup

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Later this morning, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics will be announced in Sweden. Unlike some other Nobel Prizes we've heard about in recent days, this one comes with an asterisk. And NPR's Robert Smith is covering the story. He's in New York. Hi, Robert.

ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Hey, it's good to be here.

INSKEEP: Why is there an asterisk over the Nobel Prize in Economics?

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4:44am

Wed October 9, 2013
Research News

3 Scientists Share 2013 Nobel Prize For Chemistry

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 6:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be shared by three scientists who took chemistry inside the world of computing. This powerful technology is now used to develop drugs and perform all sorts of vital tasks in chemistry. The three winners were all born overseas but collaborated in the United States and elsewhere in the 1970s, where they started their work.

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4:55am

Mon October 7, 2013
Research News

Nobel Prize Awarded In Medicine

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. This year's Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine will go to three scientists who have figured out how cells package up material - like hormones - and how they deliver those materials to other cells. This is one of the most basic functions for living cells and diseases can result when the machinery goes awry, so it's important to understand.

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1:38pm

Fri October 4, 2013
The Two-Way

Netanyahu's Push: Countering Iranian Leader's Charm Offensive

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 9:07 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday in New York City.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

It must be draining to do eight interviews in a row, but Benjamin Netanyahu seemed energized by it. The Israeli prime minister walked into our meeting in a New York hotel room bantering and smiling. He commented on the shades (pulled down to avoid a backlit photo) and noticed a novel that our engineer had brought along. Netanyahu picked it up and looked it over — a novel by Joe Hill, the pen name for the son of Stephen King.

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5:08am

Tue October 1, 2013
The Two-Way

After Shutdown, A Familiar Feeling At The White House

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 11:17 am

Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama in the Oval Office on Monday for NPR's Morning Edition.
Pete Souza The White House

President Obama spoke with NPR in the Oval Office on Monday, as a visiting group of young people in suits got a tour of the Rose Garden outside the windows. The most striking part of our encounter in this moment of crisis was how familiar the atmosphere seemed.

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6:10am

Fri September 20, 2013
Law

Holder Makes Moral Argument Against Mandatory Sentences

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The nation's top law enforcement officer says the criminal justice system is broken. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus yesterday.

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: Throughout this country, too many Americans are trapped and too many Americans are weakened by a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration.

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6:04am

Tue June 18, 2013
Europe

G-8 Leaders Wrap Up Summit In Nothern Ireland

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 1:52 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

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5:28pm

Thu June 13, 2013
Parallels

As Sanctions Squeeze, Iranians Keep Improvising

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 6:59 pm

Female supporters of Iranian presidential candidate Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, chant slogans at a campaign rally in Tehran on Wednesday, two days ahead of the election.
Vahid Salemi AP

Iranians have lived with American sanctions for many years, and we could see the evidence of this when we stepped into a Tehran shop called GM Auto Parts.

It had the famous blue and white General Motors logo, though the sign, like almost everything in the spare parts shop for American cars, looked decades old.

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6:02am

Thu June 13, 2013
Parallels

Iran's Election May Not Really Be About Picking A President

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 9:55 am

Female supporters of Iranian presidential candidate Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, hold up posters and national flags at a campaign rally in Tehran, Iran, on May 24. Jalili advocates for traditional roles for women and resistance against the U.S.
Vahid Salemi AP

When Iranians vote Friday for president, it will be an election unlike any other.

Clerics who hold supreme power in the Islamic Republic have allowed elections for decades.

But while the people vote, clerics and their allies make the rules. Those already in power choose who can run for office and limit what they do if elected.

Restrictions are tighter than ever after massive protests that followed a disputed election in 2009. In fact, the country has come to redefine the whole purpose of an election.

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3:28am

Wed June 12, 2013
Middle East

Despite Limited Election Choices, Iranians Eager To Be Heard

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:53 am

Supporters of Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator and a candidate in Iran's June 14 presidential election, attend a street campaign after Friday prayers in Tehran on June 7.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

The day we arrived in Iran's capital, Tehran, billboards along the drive from the airport to the city center were already telling us something about what's happening in the country as it prepared for Friday's presidential elections.

We see typical highway signs for Sony Ericsson, but also billboards featuring the face of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic. We also see and drive under giant signs that are from Iran's current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urging people to vote.

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1:17pm

Tue June 11, 2013
The Salt

Za'atar: A Spice Mix With Biblical Roots And Brain Food Reputation

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:27 am

Lebanese bread topped with za'atar, a spice mix ubiquitous in the Middle East.
Photostock Israel Getty Images

NPR Morning Edition Host Steve Inskeep recently traveled to Damascus for a series of reports on the ongoing war in Syria. He sent this postcard from the road.

Dear Salt:

On my first day in Damascus, I went walking in the ancient bazaar — narrow stone-paved streets surrounding a great stone mosque. The mosque is so old, it used to be a church during the Roman Empire, and before it was a church, it was a pagan temple. The bazaar is surely as old as the mosque, for Damascus is a historic city of trade.

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5:23am

Tue June 11, 2013
Parallels

Inmates In A Venezuelan Prison Build A World Of Their Own

At this prison in Barinas, Venezuela, the inmates are in charge.
Steve Inskeep NPR

In Latin America — home to the vast majority of the world's most violent cities — it's said the only part of a prison a guard controls is the gate, leaving convicts to fend for themselves inside, even running criminal networks from behind bars.

I wanted to understand how a prison like that worked, and I was in luck: A colleague knew a man serving time a Venezuelan prison. The prisoner got in touch with the leader of the inmates, who sent word that he'd be willing to see us.

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7:15am

Mon June 10, 2013
Parallels

In Venezuela, A Family Blames The Police For Their Misery

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 5:05 pm

Eloisa Barrios visits the humble graves of nine male family members in the Guanayen cemetery. She says all nine were killed by the police, in what was a vendetta against her family. Recently, a 10th member of the family was stabbed to death. He was 17.
Meridith Kohut for NPR

The story of Venezuela's Eloisa Barrios is especially revealing because so many of her relatives have been killed. Revealing because of who she believes pulled the trigger.

Some weeks ago, Barrios climbed into our van for a drive to a cemetery. The burial ground is outside a village in the Venezuelan countryside. We went there to visit the Barrios family dead.

She told us nine relatives had been killed in shootings over the past 15 years. All nine were young men.

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2:50am

Thu June 6, 2013
Parallels

For Venezuelans, Kidnappings Are Simply Business As Usual

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 8:18 pm

Kidnappings and other crime have infiltrated every aspect of daily life in Venezuela, especially the capital, Caracas, which was recently ranked the world's third most violent city.
Rodrigo Abd AP

German Garcia-Velutini got into his car and left work one day. It took him 11 months to get home.

Kidnappers had nabbed the Venezuelan banker. His abduction is part of a problem that's been getting worse every year for the past decade in Venezuela, which belongs to a region riddled with crime and the most violent cities in the world.

Gracia-Velutini tells his story at an outdoor table at a hotel in Caracas, the capital, with a view of a mountainside that climbs into the clouds.

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5:54am

Mon June 3, 2013
Middle East

Fight For Homs Fades From Headlines As War In Syria Rages

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 10:23 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. We're going to get a glimpse from the front lines of the civil war in Syria now. That war is expected to be the focus of peace negotiations, in the coming weeks. The U.S. is pressing for those talks after brutal fighting, fighting that's begun to spread to neighboring countries.

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5:24am

Sun June 2, 2013
Parallels

A City Of Assad Supporters In War-Ravaged Syria

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 2:33 pm

The port city of Tartous is in a region loyal to President Bashar Assad. The city has been a refuge for supporters to vacation and seek work.
Steve Inskeep NPR

Many people in Syria are accustomed to the sound of daily gunfire. It is normal in battle-scarred cities like Damascus or Qusair.

But along the beaches and in the cafes of Tartous, an area that is a center of support for the embattled President Bashar Assad, the sounds are a bit more peaceful.

Near the water's edge of the Mediterranean, tables, chairs and umbrellas sit upon huge stones. At one of these tables sits a brother and sister on vacation.

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2:58am

Wed May 29, 2013
Parallels

Syria's Civil War: The View From A Damascus Shrine

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 10:47 am

Zeinab
Nishant Dahiya NPR

Traveling to Damascus gives you a view of Syria's war turned inside out.

The international community talks of arming Syria's rebels against President Bashar Assad, but in the capital many people still hope the rebels will lose.

That's the thinking we found around a Muslim shrine in Damascus, a tribute to the granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad. She lived centuries ago, but a Damascus doctor we met spoke of her in the present tense.

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