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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3:30am

Fri July 18, 2014
Around the Nation

Border Agency Chief Opens Up About Deadly Force Cases

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:57 am

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske sits under an image of New York's Ground Zero in his office in Washington. For him, it serves as a daily reminder of the security threats that have shaped his agency.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

The new commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection says he is reviewing scores of incidents in which agents have used deadly force.

R. Gil Kerlikowske made that statement during an exclusive interview with NPR's Morning Edition. It was his first extended conversation about controversial incidents in which the Border Patrol has killed civilians without apparent accountability. (Click here for a full transcript of the interview.)

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10:08am

Fri May 16, 2014
Business

GM To Pay Record Fine Over Safety Recall

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 11:00 am

The Department of Transportation on Friday announced that it's ordering General Motors to pay a $35 million civil penalty for the handling of its ignition switch problems.

1:25am

Fri March 28, 2014
Parallels

Born From The Border, Tijuana Grows In New Ways

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 9:24 am

Family members huddle at the fence to talk to loved ones living across the border.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Tijuana is itself a creation of the border. The borderline was drawn here in 1848, as the United States completed its conquest of the present-day American Southwest. The border, along with the growth of San Diego and Los Angeles, gave Tijuana a reason to be.

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12:58am

Thu March 27, 2014
Parallels

Crossing The Desert: Why Brenda Wanted Border Patrol To Find Her

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:18 am

Parts of the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border might stop vehicles, but they don't keep out those making the journey on foot.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

It's hard enough to drive through the Arizona desert, where the sun is harsh and the distances immense. This is the story of people who walk it.

In particular, it's the story of Brenda, who asked us to use only her first name. She told us yet another of the unbelievable stories you hear in the Borderland.

We met her in Nogales, Sonora, on the northern border of Mexico opposite Arizona. She was living in a shelter for deported people, where she told us of her brief and difficult stay in the United States.

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1:39am

Wed March 26, 2014
Parallels

From Pancho Villa To Panda Express: Life In A Border Town

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 9:12 am

Columbus, N.M., was raided by Pancho Villa in 1916 and by federal agents in 2011.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Columbus, N.M., is all about the border. It's an official border crossing. Its history centers on a cross-border raid. In more recent years, it was a transit point for illegal weapons heading south into Mexico.

It's also the destination for children heading north to a U.S. school.

All the different strands of Columbus came together when we spent the day with the new mayor of the village. Phillip Skinner, former real estate developer and maquiladora owner-turned politician and school bus driver, was inaugurated early this month, on the morning we rolled into town.

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2:00am

Mon March 24, 2014
Parallels

On The Mend, But Wounds Of Violence Still Scar Juarez

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:25 am

Workers arrive at an assembly plant located along the border.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

We had just finished our time in Juarez, Mexico, when we had dinner with some distant relations on the U.S. side of the border. "You," one of my relatives said, "are the first Juarez survivors we've seen in some time."

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3:15pm

Sun March 23, 2014
U.S.

The Rarely Told Stories Of Sexual Assault Against Female Migrants

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 10:37 am

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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5:41am

Sun March 23, 2014
NPR Story

Congressmen Are Bullish On The Borderlands

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 9:36 am

The U.S.-Mexico border isn't just about immigration. Local politicians in El Paso, Texas, say their city is misunderstood. Being located across the river from Mexico is part of their potential.

10:22am

Sat March 22, 2014
Parallels

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

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 12:21 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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3:09am

Fri March 21, 2014
Music

Intocable's Music Straddles The Border

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 8:37 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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5:35am

Wed March 19, 2014
Parallels

Borderland: A Journey Along The Changing Frontier

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 3:42 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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5:28am

Wed March 19, 2014
NPR Story

Remembering The Alamo With A Texas Historian

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:28 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.

4:07am

Thu December 19, 2013
Africa

U.S. Diplomat Tours Central African Republic

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 10:08 am

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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3:14am

Tue November 26, 2013
Environment

A View From China, India On Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 11:28 am

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.

INSKEEP: Okay. So the Chinese declined to agree to controls on their carbon emissions, but is this a major priority for China?

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2:23am

Tue November 19, 2013
Research News

Study: Commuting Adversely Affects Political Engagement

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:04 am

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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6:12am

Fri November 15, 2013
Asia

China Expected To Loosen One-Child Policy

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:49 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.

6:15am

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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3:19am

Wed October 23, 2013
NPR Story

Typhoon Season Raises Concerns About Fukushima Plant

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:47 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Okay, the Atlantic hurricane season has been quiet so far, but in the Pacific two typhoons are moving toward Japan, raising concerns once again about the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which sits right on the coast. Its reactors, of course, melted down after an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Joining us to discuss what the effects could be is NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel. Hi, Geoff.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: Hi.

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10:13am

Wed October 16, 2013
Politics

Senate Expected To Announce Deal To Raise Debt Limit

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Hours before a deadline to extend the federal debt limit, the stock market seems kind of comfortable. The Dow Jones Industrials are actually up this morning, amid some hope that Congress may agree on a measure to avoid default and also reopen the federal government.

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2:11am

Wed October 16, 2013
Research News

Why College Freshmen May Feel Like Impostors On Campus

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 9:47 am

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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