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
5:15 am
Mon June 10, 2013

In Venezuela, A Family Blames The Police For Their Misery

Eloisa Barrios visits the humble graves of nine male family members in the Guanayen cemetery. She says all nine were killed by the police, in what was a vendetta against her family. Recently, a 10th member of the family was stabbed to death. He was 17.
Meridith Kohut for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 3:05 pm

The story of Venezuela's Eloisa Barrios is especially revealing because so many of her relatives have been killed. Revealing because of who she believes pulled the trigger.

Some weeks ago, Barrios climbed into our van for a drive to a cemetery. The burial ground is outside a village in the Venezuelan countryside. We went there to visit the Barrios family dead.

She told us nine relatives had been killed in shootings over the past 15 years. All nine were young men.

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Parallels
12:50 am
Thu June 6, 2013

For Venezuelans, Kidnappings Are Simply Business As Usual

Kidnappings and other crime have infiltrated every aspect of daily life in Venezuela, especially the capital, Caracas, which was recently ranked the world's third most violent city.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 6:18 pm

German Garcia-Velutini got into his car and left work one day. It took him 11 months to get home.

Kidnappers had nabbed the Venezuelan banker. His abduction is part of a problem that's been getting worse every year for the past decade in Venezuela, which belongs to a region riddled with crime and the most violent cities in the world.

Gracia-Velutini tells his story at an outdoor table at a hotel in Caracas, the capital, with a view of a mountainside that climbs into the clouds.

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Middle East
3:54 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Fight For Homs Fades From Headlines As War In Syria Rages

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:23 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. We're going to get a glimpse from the front lines of the civil war in Syria now. That war is expected to be the focus of peace negotiations, in the coming weeks. The U.S. is pressing for those talks after brutal fighting, fighting that's begun to spread to neighboring countries.

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Parallels
3:24 am
Sun June 2, 2013

A City Of Assad Supporters In War-Ravaged Syria

The port city of Tartous is in a region loyal to President Bashar Assad. The city has been a refuge for supporters to vacation and seek work.
Steve Inskeep NPR

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 12:33 pm

Many people in Syria are accustomed to the sound of daily gunfire. It is normal in battle-scarred cities like Damascus or Qusair.

But along the beaches and in the cafes of Tartous, an area that is a center of support for the embattled President Bashar Assad, the sounds are a bit more peaceful.

Near the water's edge of the Mediterranean, tables, chairs and umbrellas sit upon huge stones. At one of these tables sits a brother and sister on vacation.

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Middle East
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Watching Battle For Qusayr From A Syrian Rooftop

A Syrian soldier walks through the hotly contested city of Qusair on May 22. The Syrian army, backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, has been waging a fierce fight with rebels in the key western city for the past two weeks.
STR STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 6:42 am

Syria's government appears to be making gains this week in a battle against rebel forces in the key city of Qusair, along the border with Lebanon. NPR's Steve Inskeep traveled to the edge of the city, and we hear from him first, followed by Kelly McEvers, who reports from just across the frontier in Lebanon.

A Syrian provincial governor told us this week that the government army has largely retaken Qusair, though a battle continues for the airport. We asked to see for ourselves.

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Parallels
12:58 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Syria's Civil War: The View From A Damascus Shrine

Zeinab
Nishant Dahiya NPR

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:47 am

Traveling to Damascus gives you a view of Syria's war turned inside out.

The international community talks of arming Syria's rebels against President Bashar Assad, but in the capital many people still hope the rebels will lose.

That's the thinking we found around a Muslim shrine in Damascus, a tribute to the granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad. She lived centuries ago, but a Damascus doctor we met spoke of her in the present tense.

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Parallels
10:46 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

In Damascus, A View Of Syria's War Turned Inside Out

The Ummayyid Mosque in Damascus has been a mosque for around 1,400 years. It sits in the center of a city where many people are struggling to live normal lives amid war.
Steve Inskeep NPR

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 7:41 am

Many years ago, the president of Syria, Hafez al-Assad, approved the construction of a new presidential residence on a mountainside above Damascus.

Assad never occupied the building, saying his successor should take it. When his son Bashar Assad became that successor, he didn't move into the house, either. He preferred a residence down the slope.

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Asia
3:09 am
Mon May 20, 2013

After Nearly 50 Years, Burmese Leader Comes To Washington

It's been a while since the last visit by a head of state from Myanmar. The last time was 47 years ago, when the country was still known as Burma. As President Thein Sein arrives at the White House Monday, some will hail him as a reformer who set his country on the path to democracy. Others may protest his arrival, as excessive recognition for a head of state that has presided over continuing human rights abuses.

Analysis
2:21 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Republicans Focus On Democrats' Political Misdeeds

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 6:41 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Again and again, President Obama's administration tries to pivot attention toward East Asia. Administration officials believe China and its neighbors are where the economic future lies.

GREENE: And yet it's the Middle East that keeps demanding the president's attention. It brings to mind that line from F. Scott Fitzgerald: So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

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Middle East
3:43 am
Fri May 10, 2013

U.S. Point Man On Syria Meets With Rebels Inside Syria

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 6:10 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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Asia
4:08 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Violence Mutes Campaigning Ahead Of Pakistani Elections

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 9:43 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep, good morning.

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Europe
3:34 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Italian Government Update

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 5:03 am

Eight weeks after an exceptionally tight election, Italy still has no government. While the deadlock may be broken this week, the battle has wounded Italy's political establishment.

Around the Nation
3:59 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Blast Rips Through West, Texas, Fertilizer Plant

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am

A fertilizer plant exploded near Waco, Texas, Wednesday night. The explosion at West Fertilizer in downtown West, a community about 20 miles north of Waco, happened around 7 p.m. and could be heard as far away as Waxahachie, 45 miles to the north.

Asia
2:44 am
Wed April 17, 2013

IAEA Team Probes Fukushima's Radioactive Water

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:46 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Latin America
3:41 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Venezuela's Presidential Election Remains Disputed

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 12:04 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK, Venezuela's presidential election is not precisely tied, but remains in dispute. The government declared Nicolas Maduro the winner on Sunday night. He's the man picked by the late President Hugo Chavez to become his successor. Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles is challenging his narrow defeat, less than a percentage point, and Capriles' supporters clashed with police yesterday.

NPR's Juan Forero is on the line from Caracas. And, Juan, what is the opposition case here that something was wrong with the election?

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Latin America
3:01 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Presidential Candidates Wrap Up Campaigns In Venezuela

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:49 pm

Audie Cornish talks to Steve Inskeep of Morning Edition from Venezuela about the country's presidential election. Thursday is the last day for the candidates to campaign. Venezuelans will choose a new president, replacing the late Hugo Chavez, on Sunday.

Latin America
3:15 am
Thu April 11, 2013

How Hugo Chavez's Policies Affected Ordinary Venezuelans

Maria Colmenares lives in a concrete-block house on a mountainside overlooking the presidential palace in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas. Her story says much about the oil-rich and turbulent Latin American nation.
Nishant Dahiya NPR

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 11:46 am

In the days before elevators, there was no such thing as a penthouse on the top floor. The highest floors of a building had cheaper rents because the stairs were hard to climb.

Caracas, Venezuela, is organized roughly the same way, with many poor neighborhoods climbing up the sides of a mountain valley. Some of the poorest homes are among the most remote, accessible not by any road but by alleyways and long flights of stairs.

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Latin America
2:56 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Hugo Chavez's Legacy Looms Over Venezuelan Election

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:20 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep in Caracas, Venezuela. This country is about to hold a presidential election. Voters are replacing the late Hugo Chavez, who shouldered this oil-rich republic onto the world stage. He often denounced the United States as an oppressive empire - even as he sold Americans oil - and imported gasoline from U.S. refineries. The election of his successor this weekend gives us a chance to listen to a changing Latin America.

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Asia
5:27 am
Wed April 3, 2013

North Korea Bars South Korean Workers From Factory

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 6:19 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Over the past week, military tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been building. Those tensions are fed by a stream of threats made by North Korea against the South and against the United States. Yesterday the hard-line regime in Pyongyang announced it was re-starting its nuclear program. And today another move has come.

NPR's Louisa Lim is here to tell us about it. She's in Beijing. Hi, Louisa.

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Religion
5:52 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Installation Mass Launches Pope Francis' Papacy

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS RINGING)

INSKEEP: That's the sound of bells in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, as Pope Francis celebrated his inaugural Mass today. The ceremony was infused with meaning, both in the substance of what the new pope said and the symbolism of how he was presented.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli joins us on the line from Rome.

Hi, Sylvia.

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Research News
2:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

What Is The Effect Of Asking Americans To Think About The Greater Good?

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:42 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

When President Obama recently called for stricter gun control laws, he started out by saying this.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is the land of the free, and it always will be.

INSKEEP: The land of the free, he said. But he added this.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

OBAMA: We don't live in isolation. We live in a society, a government of and by and for the people. We are responsible for each other.

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Sports
2:06 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Selection Sunday Sets NCAA Tournament Brackets

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 10:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. The field is set for the NCAA Division One men's basketball tournament. Top seeds include Kansas, Louisville, Indiana and Gonzaga. The team previously known for its heroic upsets in the NCAA tournament is now one of the teams to beat. NPR's Mike Pesca is here to discuss the selections. Mike, good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

INSKEEP: How'd Gonzaga do it?

PESCA: I know, right? You read those other teams, and it's, like, perennial power, perennial power, perennial power, Jesuit school from Spokane.

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NPR Story
3:26 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Pakistani Advocate For The Poor Slain By Gunmen

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 7:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Gunmen killed a woman in Pakistan yesterday. The news stories about this were formulaic for Pakistan, she was killed in a customary manner by assassins on motorcycles who rolled away with impunity. What's remarkable is the way she lived. Parveen Rehman came from Karachi, one of the world's largest cities. She helped thousands of poor people obtain basic services.

When I first met her in 2008, she told me she studied to become an architect, but doubted the value of the upscale buildings she learned to design.

Read more
Economy
2:39 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Employment Data Expected To Show Modest Improvement

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 1:43 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning on this Friday. Let's talk a little more deeply about the surprisingly strong jobs report that came out today. NPR's Yuki Noguchi is here with the numbers. Hi, Yuki.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Good morning.

INSKEEP: OK. So what does the Labor Department say happened in the labor market in February?

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National Security
2:39 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Bin Laden's Son-In-Law To Appear In U.S. Court

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 6:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Latin America
2:39 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Venezuela To Display Chavez Body For Perpetuity

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 2:32 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Thousands of Venezuelans have been filling the streets this week, listening to music and lining up to see the coffin of their leader, Hugo Chavez, who died on Tuesday. Leaders from around the world have also come to the capital city, Caracas, for a funeral which formally takes place today. And in keeping with his often larger-than-life persona, the Venezuelan government plans to embalm Chavez and keep his body on display under glass, in perpetuity. NPR's Juan Forero is in Caracas, following events there. Hi, Juan.

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Book Reviews
4:28 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Second-Person Narrator Tells Readers 'How To' Live, Love — And Get Filthy Rich

Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 8:08 am

This is not the first time Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid has taken a risky approach to a novel. His The Reluctant Fundamentalist was written entirely in the second person. The bearded narrator of that book sits at a tea stall in Lahore, talking about his drift toward extremism while directly addressing "you," the reader, who is taken to be an increasingly jumpy and terrified American across the table.

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Research News
2:45 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Deciphering Hidden Biases During Interviews

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 9:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Benjamin Franklin said the only certain things are death and taxes. Let's add a third thing: Interviews. At many points, starting with school admissions or a new job, you're going to sit down before someone else and answer their questions.

Which is what NPR's Shankar Vedantam is about to do with us because he's got some new research relating to this topic. Hi, Shankar.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: And let's begin this interview. What's the new research about?

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Politics
3:18 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Analyzing Jeb Bush's Immigration Position

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 3:39 am

In the past, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush favored a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but in a new book, he modifies that position to call for requiring illegal immigrants to leave the U.S. and re-apply to enter if they want to pursue citizenship.

Analysis
3:41 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Vatican Is Without Sitting Pope

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 4:37 am

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. In Italy the papacy is officially vacant. The Vatican is now under the control of the cardinals who will elect a new leader of the Catholic Church. Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI gave up his ring, his cape and red papal shoes to become Pope Emeritus. Cokie Roberts was there, joins us from Rome. Hi, Cokie.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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