Steve Inskeep

Steve Inskeep is host of Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the United States. He co-hosts with Renee Montagne.

Inskeep has traveled across the nation and around the world for Morning Edition and NPR News. From the Persian Gulf to the wreckage of New Orleans, he has interviewed presidents, warlords, authors, and musicians, as well as those who aren't in the headlines — from a steelworker in Ohio to a woman living in poverty in Tehran.

Inskeep's first full-time assignment for NPR 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 attacks, Inskeep covered the war in Afghanistan, the hunt for al-Qaeda suspects in Pakistan, and the war in Iraq. 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.

In 2004, Inskeep joined a team that reshaped Morning Edition. Today Morning Edition aggressively covers breaking news, and also, in Inskeep's words, "tries to slow down the news – make sense of information that flies by too quickly, and check glib statements against the facts."

He led Morning Edition teams that hosted the program from New Orleans, Detroit, Karachi, 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.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Inskeep and NPR's Michele Norris co-hosted "The York Project," a groundbreaking series of conversations about race. Fifteen Pennsylvanians met to talk for hours about a subject that's constantly mentioned, yet not often frankly discussed. This series received a duPont silver baton for excellence.

Although his job often calls for him to deliver bad news, Inskeep looks for the humanity in hard times — and the humor. "I'm inspired," he says, "by the Langston Hughes book Laughing to Keep From Crying. And I'm inspired by people like the Bordelons, who've spoken with us ever since they rode out Hurricane Katrina. At the beginning, they sometimes laughed and cried in the same sentence. Laughter means you survived."

Before coming to NPR, Inskeep worked for public and commercial radio stations in and around New York City. He has written articles for publications including The New York Times and Washington Post. He is also the author of a forthcoming book on the world's growing urban areas, tentatively titled Instant City.

A native of Carmel, Indiana, Inskeep is a 1990 graduate of Morehead State University in Kentucky.

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3:09am

Tue October 1, 2013
Politics

After Shutdown, A Familiar Feeling At The White House

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 9:17 am

Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama in the Oval Office on Monday for NPR's Morning Edition.
Pete Souza The White House

President Obama spoke with NPR in the Oval Office on Monday, as a visiting group of young people in suits got a tour of the Rose Garden outside the windows. The most striking part of our encounter in this moment of crisis was how familiar the atmosphere seemed.

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4:10am

Fri September 20, 2013
Law

Holder Makes Moral Argument Against Mandatory Sentences

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The nation's top law enforcement officer says the criminal justice system is broken. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus yesterday.

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: Throughout this country, too many Americans are trapped and too many Americans are weakened by a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration.

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3:53am

Thu June 13, 2013
Parallels

Iran's Election May Not Really Be About Picking A President

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 7:55 am

Female supporters of Iranian presidential candidate Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, hold up posters and national flags at a campaign rally in Tehran, Iran, on May 24. Jalili advocates for traditional roles for women and resistance against the U.S.
Vahid Salemi AP

When Iranians vote Friday for president, it will be an election unlike any other.

Clerics who hold supreme power in the Islamic Republic have allowed elections for decades.

But while the people vote, clerics and their allies make the rules. Those already in power choose who can run for office and limit what they do if elected.

Restrictions are tighter than ever after massive protests that followed a disputed election in 2009. In fact, the country has come to redefine the whole purpose of an election.

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1:28am

Wed June 12, 2013
Middle East

Despite Limited Election Choices, Iranians Eager To Be Heard

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:53 am

Supporters of Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator and a candidate in Iran's June 14 presidential election, attend a street campaign after Friday prayers in Tehran on June 7.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

The day we arrived in Iran's capital, Tehran, billboards along the drive from the airport to the city center were already telling us something about what's happening in the country as it prepared for Friday's presidential elections.

We see typical highway signs for Sony Ericsson, but also billboards featuring the face of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic. We also see and drive under giant signs that are from Iran's current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urging people to vote.

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10:40am

Tue June 11, 2013
The Salt

Za'atar: A Spice Mix With Biblical Roots And Brain Food Reputation

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 9:27 am

Lebanese bread topped with za'atar, a spice mix ubiquitous in the Middle East.
Photostock Israel Getty Images

NPR Morning Edition Host Steve Inskeep recently traveled to Damascus for a series of reports on the ongoing war in Syria. He sent this postcard from the road.

Dear Salt:

On my first day in Damascus, I went walking in the ancient bazaar — narrow stone-paved streets surrounding a great stone mosque. The mosque is so old, it used to be a church during the Roman Empire, and before it was a church, it was a pagan temple. The bazaar is surely as old as the mosque, for Damascus is a historic city of trade.

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