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.

Known for his probing questions to presidents, warlords, authors, and musicians, Inskeep has a passion for the stories of the less famous—like an American soldier who lost both feet in Afghanistan; the Bordelons, who remained in their home even when it flooded during Hurricane Katrina; or New Hampshire women at a dining-room table, pondering how to vote.

Since joining Morning Edition in 2004, Inskeep has hosted the program from New Orleans, Detroit, Karachi, Cairo, 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.

Above all, Inskeep and the rest of the Morning Edition team work daily to, as he puts it, "slow down the news," to make sense of fast-moving events and focus on the real people affected.

A prime example came during the 2008 Presidential campaign, when Inskeep and Michele Norris, host of NPR's All Things Considered, conducted "The York Project," groundbreaking conversations about race, which received an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for excellence.

A veteran of public and commercial radio stations in and around New York, 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, Inskeep covered the war in Afghanistan, the hunt for al-Qaeda suspects in Pakistan, and the war in Iraq for NPR. 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.

On days filled with bad news, Inskeep is often 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, published in 2011 by The Penguin Press, a story of ordinary, often heroic people and their struggles to build one of the world's great megacities. In addition, Inskeep has written for publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. He has been a guest on TV programs including MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports and the PBS Newhour.

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

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Parallels
1:25 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Born From The Border, Tijuana Grows In New Ways

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

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

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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Parallels
12:58 am
Thu March 27, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:52 am

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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Parallels
1:39 am
Wed March 26, 2014

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

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

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

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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Parallels
2:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

On The Mend, But Wounds Of Violence Still Scar Juarez

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

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

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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U.S.
3:15 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

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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NPR Story
5:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

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.

Parallels
10:22 am
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 12:21 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.
3:43 am
Fri March 21, 2014

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

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 8:35 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
9:08 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 11:58 am

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
5:42 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 3:42 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
5:42 am
Wed March 19, 2014

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.

Africa
3:28 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Conflict In South Sudan Grows Worse

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 9:59 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
4:07 am
Thu December 19, 2013

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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Politics
3:29 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Senate Follows House, Passes Budget Deal

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Despite some very loud grumbling, both chambers of Congress have approved a two-year federal budget plan. This drops the odds of a federal government shutdown early next year, but it certainly does not end the debate over federal spending.

INSKEEP: NPR's Tamara Keith is on the line this morning to talk about one figure from the agreement, which suggests the scale of budget fights ahead. And Tamara, what's the figure?

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Africa
4:56 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 7:41 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
6:18 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Praise For Mandela Crosses Borders, Partisan Lines

When Nelson Mandela was in prison, the fight over imposing sanctions on South Africa was politically divisive. But it also produced a kind of unity in the end.

Economy
3:16 am
Fri December 6, 2013

November's 7 Percent Jobless Rate Beats Expectations

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 8:49 am

The Labor Department on Friday said the nation's unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, a five-year low, as U.S. employers added 203,000 jobs to payrolls in November. In October, the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent.

Africa
3:16 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Africans Saddened By News Of Mandela's Death

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 8:49 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
2:59 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Mexican Authorities Recover Stolen Radioactive Material

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:05 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Asia
2:59 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Biden Visits China Amid Tension With Japan

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:05 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
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

White House Confident Insurance Website Is Working Better

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

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
3:14 am
Tue November 26, 2013

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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Typhoon Haiyan Devastates The Philippines
3:41 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Tacloban Stores Slowly Reopen But Debris Cleaning Is Ongoing

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:34 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
2:23 am
Tue November 19, 2013

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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Asia
6:12 am
Fri November 15, 2013

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.

Asia
4:22 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Grim Details Reveal Brutal Effects Of Philippine Typhoon

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 7:25 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.

Asia
3:11 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Typhoon Relief Supplies Badly Needed In Tacloban

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:50 am

Relief workers are trying to get more food, water and medicine to survivors of Friday's typhoon in the central Philippines. Two more airports have opened in the region and the U.S. military is installing equipment so that relief flights can land at night. Tacloban was the worst hit city.

Asia
6:15 am
Tue November 12, 2013

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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Politics
10:13 am
Wed October 16, 2013

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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Politics
2:11 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Congress Keeps Working As Debt Ceiling Deadline Nears

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 5:54 am

This could be the last day the United States is assured of its borrowing authority. Congress could forestall this crisis by raising the debt ceiling, as it has roughly a hundred times before. But the debt ceiling is tied to the same confrontation that's kept much of the federal government shut down.

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