Steve Inskeep | KUNC

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.

The United States has spent more than $20 billion on Pakistan over the past decade, prompting some Americans to ask what they are getting for the money. America is deeply unpopular in Pakistan, and after the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, Pakistani politicians unleashed a wave of criticism of the United States.

To understand why U.S. aid has not made more friends, NPR went to the gates of Forman Christian College in Lahore, founded for Christian and Muslim students by the Presbyterian Church and in recent years financed in part by the U.S. government.

How did people come to such wildly different conclusions about American aid to Pakistan?

Some Americans seem to have concluded it's a waste of $20 billion. Yet in Lahore, Pakistani newspaper editor Najam Sethi suggested to me that Pakistan has hardly received any help at all. "It's peanuts," Sethi said.

The answer lies in the incredible complexity of Pakistan, as well as the complexity of sending aid halfway around the world. Nothing about the story is as simple as it seems.

We're on a crowded shopping street in Lahore, Pakistan, alongside the shrine to Data Ganj Baksh, one of the holiest places in the country. The shrine of a Muslim saint, it's a giant rectangle surrounded on all sides by giant white stone arches. This location was bombed last year. So we thought Thursday night, a very busy night at the shrine, would be a good night to ask people about what's happening in Pakistan.

Obama To Tour Alabama's Tornado Damage

Apr 29, 2011

In Alabama Friday, President Obama and the first lady will meet with families whose homes were destroyed by tornadoes. Gov. Robert Bentley will show the Obamas storm damage as search and rescue crews keep looking for survivors.

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Ofeibea, what's happening now?

OFEIBEA QUIST: But what we do know is that fighting and firing has restarted in the main city Abidjan.

While Libya's revolution is being decided by bombs, Egyptians still hope to finish theirs by casting ballots. A referendum is being held Saturday on amending the constitution. It's the first vote on anything since former President Hosni Mubarak lost power in February.

In El Minya, Egypt, Maher Boshra Henein, who runs a nongovernmental organization, took NPR for a ride around the city, the birthplace of Suzanne Mubarak, the ex-ruler's wife.

Henein says many places in the city were named for the former first lady, including a hospital, the square and the center for arts.

When we met Ramy Essam, the singer of the Egyptian revolution was lying face down on the same twin bed he slept in as a child.

His shirt was off, and the blanket was pulled down halfway.

He didn't want anything touching the red gashes and welts all over his back.

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Christians and others in Egypt are marching Friday to a burned-out church in a village called Soul.

The torching of that church recently was part of a series of incidents that started with a romance and turned deadly. The story says a lot about Egypt in this uncertain time.

The Rev. Apollo Isaac says a Christian boy in the village outside Cairo was caught with a Muslim girl.

"The village culture forbids that kind of relationship to happen," he said.

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne with Ari Shapiro in Washington.