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.

Pages

3:28am

Wed June 12, 2013
Middle East

Despite Limited Election Choices, Iranians Eager To Be Heard

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:53 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.

Read more

1:10pm

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 11:27 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.

Read more

5:23am

Tue June 11, 2013
Parallels

Inmates In A Venezuelan Prison Build A World Of Their Own

At this prison in Barinas, Venezuela, the inmates are in charge.
Steve Inskeep NPR

In Latin America — home to the vast majority of the world's most violent cities — it's said the only part of a prison a guard controls is the gate, leaving convicts to fend for themselves inside, even running criminal networks from behind bars.

I wanted to understand how a prison like that worked, and I was in luck: A colleague knew a man serving time a Venezuelan prison. The prisoner got in touch with the leader of the inmates, who sent word that he'd be willing to see us.

Read more

7:15am

Mon June 10, 2013
Parallels

In Venezuela, A Family Blames The Police For Their Misery

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 5:05 pm

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

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.

Read more

2:50am

Thu June 6, 2013
Parallels

For Venezuelans, Kidnappings Are Simply Business As Usual

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 8:18 pm

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

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.

Read more

6:12am

Mon June 3, 2013
Middle East

Fight For Homs Fades From Headlines As War In Syria Rages

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 10:23 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.

Read more

5:24am

Sun June 2, 2013
Parallels

A City Of Assad Supporters In War-Ravaged Syria

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

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

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.

Read more

2:58am

Wed May 29, 2013
Parallels

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

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 10:47 am

Zeinab
Nishant Dahiya NPR

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.

Read more

12:52am

Tue May 28, 2013
Parallels

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

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 9:41 am

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

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.

Read more

4:21am

Mon May 13, 2013
Analysis

Republicans Focus On Democrats' Political Misdeeds

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:41 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.

Read more

5:45am

Fri May 10, 2013
Middle East

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

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 8:10 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Read more

6:45am

Fri April 26, 2013
Politics

FAA Expected To Gain Flexibility On Budget Cuts

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 6:59 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Now that automatic spending cuts are causing wider pain, Congress has begun finding ways to adjust some of them.

MONTAGNE: Today the House is expected to take up a bill the Senate has already approved. It's called the Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013, and it comes after a week of flight delays and outrage from members of Congress, linked to the furloughs the FAA air traffic controllers.

Read more

6:03am

Wed April 24, 2013
Around the Nation

Racin Case: Charges Dropped Against Miss. Man

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Here's another reminder that a fast-moving news story can completely change. Prosecutors have dropped the charges against Paul Kevin Curtis. He's the Elvis impersonator first arrested in the case of ricin being sent to U.S. officials, as we reported last week.

Read more

10:45am

Fri April 19, 2013
Around the Nation

12 Dead In Texas Fertilizer Plant Blast, Authorities Say

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 1:32 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

There is so much we do not yet know about the chase for suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing. We do know that one suspect was killed by police overnight in the Boston area. One is believed to still be at large. We're going to continue covering that story, but we're also trying to get a little more deeply into another story we've been following in this unbelievable week of news.

Read more

4:42am

Wed April 17, 2013
National Security

FBI Encourages Public To Turn Over What They May Know

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:46 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

The special agent in charge of the FBI Boston office hopes someone somewhere heard something that will point to a suspect in the Boston Marathon attack.

(SOUNDBITE OF STATEMENT)

Read more

Pages