Melissa Block

Melissa Block joined NPR in 1985 and has been hosting All Things Considered since 2003, after nearly a decade as an NPR correspondent.

Frequently reporting from communities in the center of the news, Block was in Chengdu, China, preparing for a weeklong broadcast when a massive earthquake struck the region in May 2008. Immediately following the quake, Block, along with co-host Robert Siegel and their production team, traveled throughout Sichuan province to report extensively on the destruction and relief efforts. Their riveting coverage aired across all of NPR's programs and was carried on major news organizations around the world. In addition, the reporting was recognized with the industry's top honors including a Peabody Award, a duPont-Columbia Award, a National Headliner Award and the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award.

Throughout her career, Block has covered major news events for NPR ranging from on-the-scene reporting from the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the days following Hurricane Katrina to a series from Texas gauging the impact of the Iraq War on the surrounding communities. Her reporting after the September 11, 2001 attacks was part of coverage that earned NPR a George Foster Peabody Award. Block's reporting from Kosovo in 1999 was cited among stories for which NPR News won an Overseas Press Club Award.

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Around the Nation
3:35 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

On Nebraska's Farmland, Keystone XL Pipeline Debate Is Personal

Susan and Bill Dunavan own 80 acres of land in York County.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

Drive down gravel Road 22 in Nebraska's York County, past weathered farmhouses and corn cut to stubble in rich, black loam soil, and you'll find a small barn by the side of the road.

Built of native ponderosa pine, the barn is topped with solar panels. A windmill spins furiously out front.

Known as the Energy Barn, it's a symbol of renewable energy, standing smack on the proposed route of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline — a project of the energy giant TransCanada.

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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Nebraska Landowners Sit At The Heart Of Keystone Controversy

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 5:58 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Keystone XL - for years now, the pipeline has been tied up in polarizing argument about energy, jobs and the environment. Keystone's been argued in the U.S. Congress, in state court, at protests around the country and on late-night television.

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Middle East
2:24 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Kurdish Refugees Join Huge Numbers Of Displaced Syrians

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 3:40 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

One final note about the war in Syria and the surrounding countries - as we heard in recent days, more than 100,000 Syrian Kurds streamed into Turkey. That's on top of huge numbers of other displaced Syrians.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Food
2:16 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Keeping Heirloom Apples Alive Is 'Like A Chain Letter' Over Many Centuries

Goodband compares these Knobbed Russets to shrunken heads. Others say potatoes or toads. They're all gnarled and warty and brown, but don't be intimidated: They taste great when ripe. They originated in Sussex, England, in 1819.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 4:08 pm

It's apple season, and if you go to the supermarket you'll find the usual suspects: Red and Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, MacIntosh. But these big, shiny, perfect apples often look better than they taste. Thankfully, there's a whole world of heirloom apples out there — fruit that may look funky, but tastes fantastic, with flavors unlike any you've tried before.

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Race
2:20 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

'The Talk:' How Parents Of All Backgrounds Tell Kids About The Police

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 10:53 am

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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News
2:36 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Shark Encounter Wasn't 'Jaws,' Exactly — But It Was Still Jarring

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 12:01 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This will not be your average kayaking story.

IDA PARKER: I did see the shark grab the kayak and flip it over.

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News
2:08 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Islamic State Video Appears To Show Beheading Of A New U.S. Journalist

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 9:06 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Law
5:21 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Abortion Restrictions

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:40 pm

Regulations passed in Texas, which affected clinics that perform abortions there, were set to go into effect on Sept. 1. On Friday, a federal judge blocked those regulations, on the grounds that they unconstitutionally restricted access to legal abortion.

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

Politics
2:47 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Mapping Out The End Days Of The Midterm Campaign

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 5:29 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:09 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

The Beltway's Beaten Path: From Simple Road To Symbolic Borderland

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 8:15 am

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It has become a cliche for news reporters and anchors.

(SOUNDBITE OF VARIOUS NEWSCASTS)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: We are inside the Beltway.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Inside the Beltway.

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Law
6:02 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Federal Judge Rules Some College Players Are Entitled To Payment

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 7:52 pm

College athletes scored a major victory in court Friday. A federal judge issued a ruling that the NCAA violated antitrust law by prohibiting athletes from payment for the use of their names, images and likenesses. The ruling addressed football and basketball players in particular.

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Iraq
2:33 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

U.S. Considers Taking To Air To Aid Iraqis Marooned On Mountaintop

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 4:43 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Africa
2:04 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Ebola Casts A Shadow Over Obama's Africa Press Conference

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 5:29 pm

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

Sports
2:17 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Player In Baseball's Steroid Scandal Surrenders To DEA

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 7:47 am

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Men In America
2:59 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

What's The Big Screen Recipe For A Good Guy-Cry? You Tell Us

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 1:50 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

OK, grab the tissues, get a firm shoulder to lean on. It's time for a big cry.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "ANCHORMAN")

WILL FERRELL: (As Ron Burgundy) (Crying).

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Politics
4:16 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Obama's Request For Immigration Funds Meets Pushback On The Hill

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 5:04 pm

President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to address the influx of immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Senate Appropriations Committee is holding a hearing Thursday about the request.

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

Around the Nation
2:11 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Humpty's 2nd Fall Calls For An Artist, Not An Army

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 8:39 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now to a modern twist on an old tale of an anthropomorphic egg.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We're talking, of course, about Humpty Dumpty. You know, the one who sat on a wall and had a great fall. And then there was the mess with all the king's horses and all the king's men. And Robert, you know the rest. They couldn't put Humpty together again.

SIEGEL: But Mr. Dumpty may have a happier ending at the Enchanted Forest theme park in Salem, Oregon. This real-life nursery rhyme starts out in a similar way.

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Sports
2:17 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

U.S. Readies To Step Onto Stage For Knockout Round Drama

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 5:01 pm

In its first match of the knockout round, the U.S. soccer team plays Belgium on Tuesday. NPR's Tom Goldman previews the game, explaining what to expect from the matchup.

Latin America
2:20 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

The Young Cuban Who's Bringing Activism In Line With The Revolution

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 5:10 pm

Morning Edition host David Greene talks to Melissa Block about his recent reporting trip to Cuba. Specifically, he speaks about a young man named Isbel Diaz Torres, a new kind of Cuban activist. Greene argues that Torres' interests serve to extend Cuba's socialist revolution, rather than oppose it.

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Iraq
2:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

The Shape Of Extremist Ambitions In Iraq And Beyond

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 6:33 pm

NPR's Deborah Amos, author of Eclipse of the Sunnis, talks to Melissa Block about the extremist vision for establishing a new Sunni caliphate, as well as what it might look like if a group like ISIS managed to do so.

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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News
2:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Spelling Co-Champs Beat The Bee, Leaving Judges Without Words

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:07 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Melissa, can I have a word for a moment?

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Absolutely. How about, thymelici?

SIEGEL: Oh, the dancing chorus in ancient Greek plays?

BLOCK: Yeah.

SIEGEL: No, I was thinking more of, encaenia.

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Television
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

TV Offerings Are Hotter Than Usual This Summer

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, BYLINE: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: And I'm Melissa Block. Instead of taking their usual summer vacation, the TV networks are working to get your attention this summer. They're hoping to lure your eyes away from cable channels and online shows. To talk about some of the hot summer programming that will be on the schedule, I'm joined now by NPR TV critic Eric Deggans. And Eric, summer is usually when the networks slow down, but not this year. What's going on?

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Remembrances
3:43 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Singing Star Of All-Black Cowboy Movies, Herb Jeffries, Dies

Herb Jeffries was the first singing star of all-black cowboy movies in the late 1930s, garnering him the nickname the "Bronze Buckeroo." The jazz baritone had a seven-decade career, including singing with Duke Ellington's Band. He died Sunday in California, at age 100.

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U.S.
3:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

What We Know About The Man Behind The Isla Vista Killings

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

Scott Gold, senior writer for The Los Angeles Times discusses Elliot Rodger, the man who police say went on a stabbing and shooting rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., last week before killing himself.

Education
3:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Who's Using The Data Mined From Students?

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

Information tracked by educational software can be of great help to teachers. But as Politico's Stephanie Simon explains, private companies can also monetize the data by selling it to marketers.

Remembrances
3:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

On Memorial Day, Revisiting Stories Of The Fallen In Afghanistan

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

At Arlington National Cemetery on this memorial day President Obama paid tribute to the country's war dead. The President had just returned from a weekend visit to Afghanistan.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVAL RECORDING)

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Health Care
2:01 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

To Pay For Hepatitis C Drugs, Medicare Might Face A Steep Bill

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 6:00 pm

The federal Medicare program for the elderly and disabled will cover two new drugs that can cure hepatitis C, a liver disease that can cause cancer and lead to death. The drugs are very expensive, but they cure hepatitis C in most cases. The government and insurers are concerned about these costs; three million Americans have hepatitis C, most of whom don't know they have it.

Media
2:00 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

'The New York Times' Announces Surprise Change Of Management

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 5:59 pm

The New York Times has announced that Dean Baquet, the newspaper's managing editor, will replace Jill Abramson as the executive editor. Both Abramson and Baquet were named to their current jobs in 2011. NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik comments on the move.

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Environment
3:11 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Stanford Dumps Its Holdings In Coal, With Climate In Mind

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Middle East
2:15 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

In Answer To Palestinian Unity, Israelis Step Away From Peace Talks

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:17 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Israel has broken off peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. Israeli leaders say they're doing that because the Palestinian Authority is forming a joint government with the militant group Hamas.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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