Steve Inskeep

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

Known for probing questions to everyone from presidents to warlords to musicians, Inskeep has a passion for stories of the less famous—like an American soldier who lost both feet in Afghanistan, or an Ethiopian woman's extraordinary journey to the United States.

Since joining Morning Edition in 2004, Inskeep has hosted the program from New Orleans, Detroit, Karachi, Cairo, Houston and Tehran; investigated Iraqi police in Baghdad; and received a 2006 Robert F. Kennedy journalism award for "The Price of African Oil," on conflict in Nigeria. In 2012 he traveled 2,700 miles across North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring. In 2013 he reported from war-torn Syria, and on Iran's historic election. In 2014 he drove with colleagues 2,428 miles along the entire U.S.-Mexico border; the resulting radio series, "Borderland," won widespread attention, as did the acclaimed NPR online magazine of the same name.

Inskeep says Morning Edition works to "slow down the news," making sense of fast-moving events. A prime example came during the 2008 Presidential campaign, when Inskeep and NPR's Michele Norris conducted "The York Project," groundbreaking conversations about race, which received an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for excellence.

Inskeep was hired by NPR in 1996. His first full-time assignment 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, 2001, attacks, he covered the war in Afghanistan, turmoil in Pakistan, and the war in Iraq. In 2003, he received a National Headliner Award for investigating a military raid gone wrong in Afghanistan. He has twice been part of NPR News teams awarded the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for coverage of Iraq.

On days of bad news, Inskeep is inspired by the Langston Hughes book, Laughing to Keep From Crying. Of hosting Morning Edition during the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession, he told Nuvo magazine when "the whole world seemed to be falling apart, it was especially important for me ... to be amused, even if I had to be cynically amused, about the things that were going wrong. Laughter is a sign that you're not defeated."

Inskeep is the author of Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi, a 2011 book on one of the world's great megacities. He is also author of Jacksonland, a forthcoming history of President Andrew Jackson's long-running conflict with John Ross, a Cherokee chief who resisted the removal of Indians from the eastern United States in the 1830's.

He has been a guest on numerous TV programs including ABC's This Week, NBC's Meet the Press, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, CNN's Inside Politics and the PBS Newhour. He has written for publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic.

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

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U.S.
5:15 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

The Rarely Told Stories Of Sexual Assault Against Female Migrants

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:37 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

A dust-covered car has been in our parking lot at NPR West this week. It was the vehicle that took Steve Inskeep and several colleagues along the entire border between the U.S. and Mexico. We've been hearing what they found in recent days, stories of people and goods and culture that cross the border. Steve's in our studio now with a rather difficult story to tell. Steve, what is that?

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NPR Story
7:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

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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Parallels
12:22 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

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

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

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

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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U.S.
5:43 am
Fri March 21, 2014

For Illegal Immigrants, Journey To U.S. Soil Cut Short

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 10:35 am

In the latest story from our Borderland series, we explore a section of the border fence near a wildlife refuge in Hidalgo, Texas, While there, the U.S. Border Patrol picks up 18 migrants.

Parallels
11:08 am
Thu March 20, 2014

A U.S. Border Shelter That Attracts Asylum Seekers Far And Wide

The La Posada Providencia shelter in San Benito, Texas, is run by a group of nuns. While the shelter is just across the border from Mexico, the asylum seekers come from poor, troubled countries around the globe.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:58 pm

You have no idea what some people will do to reach the United States until you hear their stories.

I've understood this truth ever since I went to Afghanistan in 2001. A man told me how he left his country without any travel documents and somehow crossed Iran by bus and foot, only to be caught in Turkey and sent back. He didn't give up, and a few years later came to visit me in Washington.

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Parallels
7:46 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Borderland: A Journey Along The Changing Frontier

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

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

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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NPR Story
7:42 am
Wed March 19, 2014

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.

Africa
5:28 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Conflict In South Sudan Grows Worse

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 11:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's get an update now on the violence in South Sudan. Forces opposed to that nation's president have taken control of a major town, and killed at least three United Nations peacekeepers. Hundreds of other people are dead. The United States has flown in troops to protect its embassy, and a conflict is leaving the newest nation in the world close to civil war.

NPR's East Africa correspondent Gregory Warner is following the story from Nairobi, Kenya. And, Gregory, what is the conflict? What's behind this?

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Africa
6:07 am
Thu December 19, 2013

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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Music Interviews
5:07 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Venezuelan Hip-Hop Takes On Police Corruption

Rappers Apache and Canserbero.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

A music video made in Venezuela this year calls attention to a special kind of crime: corruption by Venezuelan police.

Two rappers who go by the names Apache and Canserbero show themselves driving a beat-up Lincoln, maybe from the 1970s. They're pulled over at a checkpoint by cops who want cash.

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NPR Story
5:07 am
Wed December 11, 2013

South Africans Cheer Mandela, Jeer President Jacob Zuma

South African President Jacob Zuma addresses the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday. The audience at the service began booing Zuma from the moment he stepped into the stadium.
Meng Chenguang Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 9:41 pm

South African President Jacob Zuma likes to see himself as following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela: They made their names in the anti-apartheid movement, they were imprisoned together on Robben Island and they both were elected president.

But that's where the comparison ends.

Zuma, who has been embroiled in multiple corruption and sex scandals, thought he might catch a break and bask in Mandela's reflected glory as the world pays tribute to the iconic figure following his death last week.

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Africa
5:16 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Africans Saddened By News Of Mandela's Death

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 10:49 am

Tributes to Nelson Mandela have been pouring in from all over the world. South Africans are mourning the loss of the symbolic anti-apartheid leader. His leadership and legacy affected the entire African continent.

Latin America
4:59 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Mexican Authorities Recover Stolen Radioactive Material

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:05 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Asia
4:59 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Biden Visits China Amid Tension With Japan

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:05 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So there's a long history behind this conflict. There appears to be an agreement to hold off on the conflict, at least for a bit, and NPR's Anthony Kuhn is still with us. And Anthony, can you tell us, does it appear then that a crisis has been averted?

ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Well, at least postponed. I mean, you know, they covered topics in their talks, Steve.

INSKEEP: The two leaders, right.

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Politics
4:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

White House Confident Insurance Website Is Working Better

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:27 pm

In this, the first week of December, the Obama administration says it has met its self-imposed deadline of fixing the troubled healthcare.gov web site. And it says people should be able to sign up for health insurance. So, is it fixed and when will we know for sure?

Environment
5:14 am
Tue November 26, 2013

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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Asia
4:44 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Tacloban Stores Slowly Reopen But Debris Cleaning Is Ongoing

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 7:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Our colleague Anthony Kuhn has departed Tacloban, the city in the Philippines hardest hit by a typhoon. Anthony covered the early days of a disaster that left around 4,000 people dead and has displaced four million more. And now that he's in Manila, Anthony is going to try to help us get some perspective on what happened. He's on the line.

Hi, Anthony.

ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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Research News
4:23 am
Tue November 19, 2013

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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Asia
8:12 am
Fri November 15, 2013

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.

Asia
6:27 am
Thu November 14, 2013

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.

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