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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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

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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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.

Research News
2:11 am
Wed October 16, 2013

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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Middle East
2:50 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Talks Begin In Geneva On Iran's Nuclear Program

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 3:31 am

Negotiators from the U.S. and five other world powers expect Iran to outline how it can guarantee its program is for peaceful purposes — and not aimed at producing nuclear weapons. In exchange, Iranians hope for relief from economic sanctions.

Business
5:46 am
Mon October 14, 2013

3 American Economists Win Nobel Prize

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK, the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics was awarded today to three American men - Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, Robert Shiller. The Nobel committee cited their research in the predictability of stock prices, as well as other asset prices. We're going to find out more now from Zoe Chace of NPR's Planet Money team. She's on the line. Hi, Zoe.

ZOE CHACE, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: Each of these guy's names is a little familiar, I think to the layman, especially maybe Shiller. Who are they?

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Planet Money
2:21 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Prize In Economics A Latecomer To Nobel Lineup

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Later this morning, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics will be announced in Sweden. Unlike some other Nobel Prizes we've heard about in recent days, this one comes with an asterisk. And NPR's Robert Smith is covering the story. He's in New York. Hi, Robert.

ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Hey, it's good to be here.

INSKEEP: Why is there an asterisk over the Nobel Prize in Economics?

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Politics
2:02 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Reason For Optimism? Two Sides Talking On Debt Ceiling

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Let's sort out the talks over the partial government shutdown and the debt ceiling with NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson, who's on the line. Mara, good morning.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Research News
2:44 am
Wed October 9, 2013

3 Scientists Share 2013 Nobel Prize For Chemistry

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be shared by three scientists who took chemistry inside the world of computing. This powerful technology is now used to develop drugs and perform all sorts of vital tasks in chemistry. The three winners were all born overseas but collaborated in the United States and elsewhere in the 1970s, where they started their work.

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Research News
2:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Theorists Compare Government Shutdown To A Not-So-Fun Game

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:26 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So, we're in the second week of the government shutdown, and just over a week from now, federal borrowing authority expires, making it possible the federal government could fail to pay many of its legal obligations that Congress previously approved. At the center of both issues is House Speaker John Boehner, who last week accused Democrats of letting the shutdown continue because Democrats felt they were winning.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: This isn't some damn game.

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Africa
2:55 am
Mon October 7, 2013

U.S. Special Forces Operation In Libya Nabs Al-Qaida Suspect

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:15 am

The United States military struck twice over the weekend in Africa. Commando raids in Somalia and Libya targeted terrorists. The mission in Libya resulted in the capture of a top al-Qaida operative. He was a key figure in bombings of two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania back in 1998. The outcome in Somalia is not as clear.

Research News
2:55 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Nobel Prize Awarded In Medicine

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. This year's Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine will go to three scientists who have figured out how cells package up material - like hormones - and how they deliver those materials to other cells. This is one of the most basic functions for living cells and diseases can result when the machinery goes awry, so it's important to understand.

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