Philip Reeves

Philip Reeves is an award-winning veteran international correspondent based in Islamabad, Pakistan. Previous to his current role, he covered Europe out of NPR's bureau in London.

Reeves has spent two decades working as a journalist overseas, reporting from a wide range of places including the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Asia.

A member of the NPR team that won highly prestigious Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University and George Foster Peabody awards for coverage of the conflict in Iraq, Reeves has been honored several times by the South Asian Journalists Association.

In 2010, Reeves moved to London from New Delhi after a stint of more than seven years working in and around South Asia. He traveled widely in India, taking listeners on voyages along the Ganges River and the ancient Grand Trunk Road. He also made numerous trips to cover unrest and political turmoil in Pakistan.

Reeves joined NPR in 2004, after spending 17 years as a correspondent for the British daily newspaper, The Independent. During the early stages of his career, he worked for BBC radio and television after training on the Bath Chronicle newspaper in western Britain.

Over the years, Reeves has covered a wide range of stories - from the Waco siege, to the growth of the Internet, Boris Yeltsin's erratic presidency, the economic rise of India, and conflicts in Gaza and the West Bank, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Graduating from Cambridge University, Reeves earned a degree in English literature. He and his wife have one daughter. His family originates from New Zealand.

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3:16pm

Mon May 26, 2014
Asia

At Indian Prime Minister's Inauguration, A Historic Pakistani Presence

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 3:43 pm

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was among the guests at Narenda Modi's inauguration. It's the first time the leader of one of the archrivals has attended the swearing-in of the other.

2:24pm

Wed April 16, 2014
Technology

Man Reaches For The Sun For A Solution To Pakistan's Gas Crisis

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 8:46 am

Pakistani motorists wait in line at a refueling station in the outskirts of Islamabad on Jan. 20, 2013. Waits of up to four hours have become a way of life since Pakistan decided to switch to compressed natural gas about a decade ago.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Spring has crept up to the foothills of the Himalayas and, in Islamabad, Pakistan's purpose-built capital, the air is full of the scent of roses and the yelling of birds.

Yet, even in this most stately of South Asian cities, it is impossible to escape the realities of an unstable nation that has yet to figure out how to meet some of the basic needs of its 200 million or so citizens.

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3:16am

Thu April 10, 2014
Asia

2 Pakistani Musicians Gain Fame Singing Political Satire

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 5:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There's also anxiety in Pakistan because it is a country where you can get into big trouble because of what you say. Recently, gunmen there opened fire on a prominent journalist who's a critic of Islamic extremism, killing his driver. Twenty-five journalists have been killed over the last decade. Non-journalists like the young activist Malala Yousafzai have been attacked. NPR's Philip Reeves went to see two young Pakistanis who think they're better off singing about their political views than talking. He sent this postcard from Lahore.

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3:47am

Sun February 9, 2014
Parallels

The World's Most Optimistic Law: Banning Graffiti In Karachi

A man walks past one of the many graffiti-covered walls in Karachi, Pakistan, on Dec. 27, 2013. Provincial lawmakers have voted to ban graffiti, but few expect the measure to be enforced.
Athar Hussain Reuters /Landov

If there was a competition to find the world's Most Optimistic Law, then here's a promising contender.

A law has just been introduced in Pakistan that bans people from scrawling graffiti on the walls of Karachi, a vast, chaotic port city on the shores of the Arabian Sea.

It is impossible to drive through Karachi without being struck by the manner in which the city's walls yell at the passersby.

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3:35pm

Fri February 7, 2014
Middle East

Pakistan And Taliban Come To The Negotiating Table

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 7:04 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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11:32am

Wed February 5, 2014
Parallels

In Pakistan, Another Bhutto Joins The Risky Family Business

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 8:23 pm

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (left), son of assassinated Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, arrives for a festival at Moenjodaro in southern Pakistan on Feb. 1. The event was seen as a political coming-out party for Bhutto, whose family has prominently featured in Pakistani politics for decades.
Waqar Hussein EPA/Landov

His grandfather was hanged by a military dictator. His mother was assassinated. One of his uncles was slain by the police. Another died in a mysterious poisoning.

His father spent eight years in jail, yet later served a full term as president of Pakistan.

The Bhutto family history is a roller coaster ride, veering from prison, exile and corruption scandals to wealth, fame and power.

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7:01am

Sun February 2, 2014
Middle East

Despite Scars Of War, Karachi Holds Onto Its Chutzpah

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 12:17 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. When you hear us say Karachi, Pakistan, you might assume we're going to bring you're a story about terrorism or a bombing or a kidnapping - and you would often be right. It is the most violent city in all of Pakistan. But NPR's Philip Reeves found that isn't all there is to the city. In fact, there's often a gap between Karachi's reputation and the reality of the place, as he explains in this letter from Pakistan.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAFFIC NOISE)

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2:54pm

Mon January 27, 2014
Middle East

The Doctor At The Heart Of The U.S.-Pakistan Rift

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 5:56 pm

Prickly relations between the U.S. and Islamabad are becoming even thornier because of one issue: the case of Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden in 2011. Afridi is seen as a hero by many Americans, but that didn't deter Pakistan from jailing him for alleged militant ties. The U.S. Congress is withholding $33 million in aid to Pakistan until the doctor is freed. But Afridi's lawyer fears this tactic will antagonize Islamabad. He urgently wants Afridi freed, warning that the doctor is at severe risk of being killed by fellow prisoners.

2:10pm

Mon December 16, 2013
Europe

The Shipping Forecast: From Britain's Seas Into Its Soul

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:29 pm

Fisherman Teddy Head tells a story to a group of children while mending his nets in Hastings in 1952. The fishermen of Hastings are tightknit; fathers, brothers and sons work together in rugged boats no more than about 30 feet long. Some families in Hastings have worked this way for centuries.
Fred Morley Getty Images

It is a bizarre nightly ritual that is deeply embedded in the British way of life.

You switch off the TV, lock up the house, slip into bed, turn on your radio, and begin to listen to a mantra, delivered by a soothing, soporific voice.

"Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger ...." says the voice.

You are aware — vaguely — that these delicious words are names, and that those names refer to big blocks of sea around your island nation, stretching all the way up to Iceland and down to North Africa.

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10:51am

Thu December 12, 2013
Parallels

Pakistan's Fearless Chief Justice Challenged The Powers That Were

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 1:41 pm

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry (center) is greeted by lawyers in Islamabad after the government announced it would reinstate him, in March 2009. Pakistan's longest-serving chief justice challenged the status quo and fought to chart a more assertive and independent course for the country's judiciary.
Anjum Naveed AP

He defied a military dictator, sacked a prime minister, and persistently sought to call generals and intelligence chiefs to account.

He became a symbol of hope for an impoverished multitude, seeking to assert their rights in a land where these are frequently ignored and abused.

He was one of his country's best-known figures who was seen — though not usually heard — on his nation's television screens as frequently as celebrity actors and cricket stars.

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2:49pm

Wed October 30, 2013
Media

Prosecutors Press Case In 'News Of The World' Phone-Tapping Trial

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:00 pm

At the Old Bailey Courthouse in London Wednesday, the prosecution laid out the case against former journalists of the now-defunct British tabloid News of the World.

2:57pm

Mon September 9, 2013
Europe

Skateboarders Mobilize As Art Center Tries To Reclaim Cavern

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In medieval times, the south bank of the River Thames in London was full of seedy theaters, brothels and scoundrels. But centuries later, it has become one of the world's finest centers for the arts. Recent plans to expand the arts center has revealed a uniquely, contemporary conflict. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports, this conflict is reviving grassroots activism in Britain's capital.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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4:19pm

Thu August 29, 2013
World

U.K. Lawmakers Vote Against Syria Strike

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 4:04 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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3:13pm

Mon August 19, 2013
Media

U.K. Detains Partner Of Journalist Who Talked With Snowden

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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1:17am

Mon July 22, 2013
Parallels

Would Brits Throw Out Royals With Baby's Bathwater?

Cards depicting the 'royal baby' either as a boy or a girl, specially made by a games company as a publicity stunt are pictured, backdropped by members of the media waiting across the St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London on July 11, 2013.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

"Royal Baby Fever" is gripping Britain.

So say the breathless TV pundits gathered from round the world to report the infant's arrival.

Is it true?

An Ipsos Mori poll published this week found the Royal Family's certainly enjoying a golden age, after rebounding from the disasters of the 1990s — including the death of Princess Diana.

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12:15pm

Wed July 10, 2013
Parallels

That Blows: Cricket's Trumpet-Playing Superfan Silenced

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 2:42 pm

Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott listens to Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper during the second test between New Zealand and England at Basin Reserve on March 15 in Wellington, New Zealand. Cooper's trumpet will be silent at Trent Bridge, in Nottingham, England, because the ground doesn't allow musical instruments.
Gareth Copley Getty Images

The English national character is an eternal mystery. But from time to time we get a glimpse of some of its components. The story of Billy The Trumpet is one such occasion.

Billy is the embodiment of English eccentricity. He belongs to a boisterous ragtag band of sports fans called the Barmy Army. They're considered "barmy" for very good reason: These people follow England's national cricket team everywhere.

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10:35am

Mon July 8, 2013
Parallels

Britons Bask In A Summer Of Good News

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 2:10 pm

Britain's Andy Murray celebrates after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia at Wimbledon on Sunday in London. Murray was the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years.
Mike Hewitt Getty Images

All news is bad news. Or so the saying goes. Many Brits firmly believe this — and use it as a branch to beat their journalists, one of the more despised species in these isles.

It is, of course, untrue. There's no better example of the media's appetite for good news than the tsunami of euphoria with which they've greeted Andy Murray's Wimbledon triumph on Sunday.

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2:47pm

Wed July 3, 2013
Middle East

Pakistan's New Prime Minister Gets No 'Honeymoon Period'

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:38 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's been four weeks since Pakistan's new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took the oath of office. In that time, Pakistan has suffered a wave of militant attacks, an economically crippling electricity crisis, and now a deadly drone strike. Many Pakistanis deeply resent U.S. drone attacks against targets in their tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. Recently, there's been a lull in these, but overnight a fresh missile strike killed at least 17 people.

NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

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1:01am

Mon July 1, 2013
Europe

Thar He Blows: Trump Tussles With Scots Over Wind Turbines

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 7:52 am

Donald Trump plays a stroke as he officially opens his new Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, last July. Now, he is aggressively fighting Scottish plans to build 11 wind turbines off the coast overlooked by his golf course and other proposed projects.
Andy Buchanan AFP/Getty Images

A fierce legal battle is under way in Scotland, involving U.S. tycoon Donald Trump.

At the heart of the wrangle: wind.

Europe is leading the way in generating energy using wind. Huge turbines whir away on the hills and in the seas throughout the continent.

The roots of Trump's hatred for these turbines can be found, at least in part, in what was once a stretch of rolling dunes and grassland in northeastern Scotland, overlooking the North Sea.

He is spending hundreds of millions creating a resort there.

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10:56am

Sun June 16, 2013
Parallels

Violence Defies Pakistanis' Efforts To Define Their Nation

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 11:36 am

Pakistani security personnel inspect a burned-out bus on Sunday, a day after it was destroyed by a bomb attack in Quetta. The bus was carrying students from the region's only university for women. Fourteen women died.
Banaras Khan AFP/Getty Images

There is no more graphic example of the daunting challenges facing Pakistan's new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, than the bloody events playing out in the west of his nation.

Just over a week after Sharif was sworn in for a third term, at least 24 people were killed in a day of violence that underscored the threat presented by violent militancy to the fabric of the Pakistani state.

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