Allison Keyes

Allison Keyes is an award-winning journalist with almost 20 years of experience in print, radio, and television. She has been reporting for NPR's national desk since October 2005. Her reports can be heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition Sunday.

Keyes coverage includes news and features on a wide variety of topics. "I've done everything from interviewing musician Dave Brubeck to profiling a group of kids in Harlem that are learning responsibility and getting educational opportunities from an Ice Hockey league, to hanging out with a group of black cowboys in Brooklyn who are keeping the tradition alive." Her reports include award-winning coverage of the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York, coverage of the changes John Ashcroft sought in the Patriot Act, and the NAACP lawsuit against gun companies.

In 2002 Keyes joined NPR as a reporter and substitute host for The Tavis Smiley Show. She switched to News and Notes when it launched in January 2005. Keyes enjoyed the unique opportunity News & Notes gave her to cover events that affect communities of color on a national level. "Most news outlets only bother to cover crime and the predictable museum opening or occasional community protest," she said. "But people have a right to know what's going on and how it will affect them and their communities."

In addition to working with NPR, Keyes occasionally writes and produces segments for the ABC News shows Good Morning America and World News Tonight.

Keyes is familiar with public radio, having worked intermittently for NPR since 1995. She also spent a little less than a year hosting and covering City Hall and politics for WNYC Radio. Prior to that, she spent several years at WCBS Newsradio 880.

Keyes' eyewitness reports on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York earned her the Newswoman's Club of New York 2002 Front Page Award for Breaking News, and, along with WCBS Newsradio staff, the New York State Associated Press Broadcast Award for Breaking News and Continuing Coverage. Her report on the funeral of Patrick Dorismond earned her the National Association of Black Journalists' 2001 Radio News Award.

In addition to radio, Keyes has worked in cable television and print. She has reported for Black Enterprise Magazine, co-authored two African-American history books as well as the African American Heritage Perpetual Calendar, and has written profiles for various magazines and Internet news outlets in Chicago and New York.

Keyes got her start in radio at NPR member station WBEZ in Chicago, IL, in 1988 as an assistant news director, anchor, and reporter. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in English and journalism. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. and the National Association of Black Journalists.

When not on the air, Keyes can be found singing jazz, listening to opera, or hanging out with her very, very large cat.



Sun May 29, 2011

Palin Kick-Starts Bus Tour On Back Of Motorcycle

Former Alaska Gov. and GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin greets some of the thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts and military veterans participating in the Rolling Thunder rally on Sunday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Thousands rode their bikes Sunday for the 24th annual Rolling Thunder event from the Pentagon to the National Mall, a Memorial Day weekend tradition in Washington, D.C. There was a new rider this year: potential presidential candidate Sarah Palin, astride a Harley.

Many in the crowd were excited to see her, but some worried that her presence could distract from the day's message. But there was no doubt, Palin draws a crowd — even in a crowd.

She rode up on the back of a motorcycle in a black leather jacket, black flared pants, black heels and a wide smile.

Read more


Sat May 28, 2011
NPR Story

Musician Gil Scott-Heron Dies At 62

Legendary jazz/soul musician Gil Scott-Heron died Friday in New York City at age 62. The troubled genius inspired a generation of rappers and other musicians with his song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised."


Sat May 21, 2011

Horse Racing Gets Squeezed By Gambling's Spread

The finish line and grandstand at Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness. The track has had trouble competing with rival tracks that offer other gambling options, such as slot machines.
Allison Keyes NPR

Races between thoroughbred horses have been held in the United States since the 1600s. With the second jewel in the Triple Crown series – The Preakness – set to run Saturday, its host racetrack is struggling to balance its books.

A 2005 study says that racing directly impacts the U.S. economy to the tune of $10.6 billion a year. And yet, there's been hand-wringing in Maryland, which hosts the Preakness, over whether an industry that's been losing millions of dollars a year can survive.

Read more


Sun April 10, 2011

'Dog Day' Director Lumet Focused On The Little Guy

Gritty streets, cops and human drama dominated many of the films of director Sidney Lumet. Network, 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon and The Verdict are all instantly recognizable and socially relevant to their time. Lumet died Saturday at 86.


Thu April 7, 2011
Around the Nation

Ahead Of Anniversary, Freedom Riders Remember

Fifty years ago this May, 13 people boarded a bus in Washington, D.C. The Freedom Riders, as they are called, challenged segregation on buses and in waiting rooms throughout the South. Some of those riders are using their experiences to motivate students today — to show them that the actions of one person can make a difference.

Joan Trumpauer Mulholland stood alongside her fellow Freedom Riders staring at a picture of a black man on a bus who is watching two National Guardsmen.

"There's Dave Dennis," she says, "looking up at the guys with the bayonets."

Read more