Debbie Elliott

After a stint on Capitol Hill, NPR National Correspondent Debbie Elliott is back covering the news in her native South.

Based in Alabama, Elliott's reporting has ranged from hurricanes and oil spills to industry and politics. Her coverage of the BP oil spill in 2010 and its aftermath focus on the human impact of the spill, the government’s response and the region’s recovery. In 2010, she launched a series on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, “The Disappearing Coast,” which examines the history and culture of south Louisiana, the state’s complicated relationship with the oil and gas industry and the oil spill’s lasting impact on a fragile coastline.

Elliott has covered the efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina and the other storms that have hit the coast. She also tracks what the economic downturn means for states and municipalities, and whether the federal stimulus package is helping. In Elliott’s political reporting, she watches vulnerable Congressional seats and follows southern governors who have higher political aspirations.

While based in Washington, D.C., Elliott covered Congress and was part of NPR’s 2008 election team. She co-hosted late election night returns, reported live from the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Denver and broadcast from the grounds of the US Capitol during the Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Elliott is a former weekend host of NPR's All Things Considered. In that role she interviewed a variety of luminaries and world leaders, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She celebrated the 40th Anniversary of “Alice’s Restaurant” with Arlo Guthrie, and mixed it up on the rink with the Baltimore’s Charm City Roller Girls. She profiled the late historian John Hope Franklin and the children's book author Eric Carle.

Since joining NPR in 1995, Elliott has covered the re-opening of Civil Rights-era murder cases, the legal battle over displaying the Ten Commandments in courthouses, the Elian Gonzales custody dispute from Miami, and a number of hurricanes, from Andrew to Katrina. On Election night in 2000, Elliott was stationed in Tallahassee, Fla., and was one of the first national reporters on the scene for the contentious presidential election contest that followed. She has covered landmark smoker lawsuits, the tobacco settlement with states, the latest trends in youth smoking and tobacco-control policy and regulation. She’s been to a Super Bowl, the Summer Olympics and baseball spring training.

Born in Atlanta, Elliott grew up in the Memphis area and graduated from the University of Alabama College of Communication. She’s the former news director of member station WUAL (now Alabama Public Radio).

Elliott lives in south Alabama with her husband and two children.

 

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3:08pm

Thu October 31, 2013
Politics

A Clash Of Styles As GOP Factions Fight For Alabama District

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:01 pm

Republican candidates Bradley Byrne and Dean Young are running in a special runoff election Tuesday to fill Alabama's 1st congressional district seat.
Phillip Rawls and Campaign of Dean Young AP

Voters in Alabama's 1st congressional district are getting a glimpse of the factions vying for control of the Republican Party as two GOP candidates face off in a special election Tuesday.

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12:03pm

Thu October 10, 2013
Music News

A Young Torchbearer Lights The Way For New Orleans Music Students

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

Trombone Shorty, aka Troy Andrews, has started a foundation dedicated to music education in New Orleans.
Jonathan Mannion Courtesy of the artist

In New Orleans, it's cool to be in the high school band — especially when Trombone Shorty shows up in the band room.

The brass player and bandleader recently paid a visit to New Orleans' Warren Easton High School to work with band members. It's part of his work with the Trombone Shorty Foundation, a music education initiative.

"[Trombone Shorty] is, without a doubt, the role model for the next generation right now," says Bill Taylor, the foundation's executive director.

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1:04am

Tue September 10, 2013
Code Switch

Congress Honors Victims Of Infamous Alabama Church Bombing

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 8:32 am

One man was convicted in the bombing in 1977, but more than two decades would pass before any other suspects were tried for murder.
AP

On Tuesday, Congress will bestow its highest civilian honor — posthumously — on the young victims of a deadly Alabama church bombing from the civil rights era.

The Congressional Gold Medals for Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley come 50 years after the black girls were killed by a Ku Klux Klan bomb.

Just as the federal recognition is long in coming, so was justice.

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3:36am

Sat September 7, 2013
Music

A Children's Author Wrangles A Cowboy Soundtrack

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 4:11 pm

Sandra Boynton's new children's album and songbook is titled Frog Trouble.
Courtesy of the artist

1:34am

Thu August 29, 2013
Around the Nation

Post-Katrina New Orleans A Story Of Modern Pioneering

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 8:44 am

Ronald Lewis, a resident of the Lower 9th Ward, says eight years after Hurricane Katrina, rebuilding his neighborhood is a story still in progress.
Debbie Elliott NPR

It's been eight years to the day since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. To mark the anniversary, NPR revisits neighborhood activist and curator Ronald Lewis, a New Orleans resident whom Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep regularly checked in with in the months after the storm.

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