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 and David Greene.

Known for probing questions to everyone from presidents to warlords to musicians, Inskeep has a passion for stories of the less famous—like an American soldier who lost both feet in Afghanistan, or an Ethiopian woman's extraordinary journey to the United States.

Since joining Morning Edition in 2004, Inskeep has hosted the program from New Orleans, Detroit, Karachi, Cairo, Houston and Tehran; investigated Iraqi police in Baghdad; and received a 2006 Robert F. Kennedy journalism award for "The Price of African Oil," on conflict in Nigeria. In 2012 he traveled 2,700 miles across North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring. In 2013 he reported from war-torn Syria, and on Iran's historic election. In 2014 he drove with colleagues 2,428 miles along the entire U.S.-Mexico border; the resulting radio series, "Borderland," won widespread attention, as did the acclaimed NPR online magazine of the same name.

Inskeep says Morning Edition works to "slow down the news," making sense of fast-moving events. A prime example came during the 2008 Presidential campaign, when Inskeep and NPR's Michele Norris conducted "The York Project," groundbreaking conversations about race, which received an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for excellence.

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, he covered the war in Afghanistan, turmoil in Pakistan, and the war in Iraq. In 2003, he received a National Headliner Award for investigating a military raid gone wrong in Afghanistan. He has twice been part of NPR News teams awarded the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for coverage of Iraq.

On days of bad news, Inskeep is 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, a 2011 book on one of the world's great megacities. He is also author of Jacksonland, a forthcoming history of President Andrew Jackson's long-running conflict with John Ross, a Cherokee chief who resisted the removal of Indians from the eastern United States in the 1830's.

He has been a guest on numerous TV programs including ABC's This Week, NBC's Meet the Press, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, CNN's Inside Politics and the PBS Newhour. He has written for publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic.

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

Pages

History
3:24 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Founder: Monument Almost Never Got Built

Jan Scruggs gazes up at the names of fellow military service members inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Steve Inskeep NPR

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 11:07 am

On a perfect spring morning, Jan Scruggs walks along the site overlooking the wall of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Washington, D.C. Contrasting the bright colors of blooming trees and flowers is the black granite carved with the names of more than 58,000 Americans who served during the war.

Scruggs, a veteran himself, is credited with getting the memorial built. He's now preparing to retire. Morning Edition met Scruggs to learn the story of how the memorial was built, honoring the dead from a war that ended 40 years ago, on April 30, 1975.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:30 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Republicans Are Making Foreign Policy The Obamacare Of The 2016 Election

Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., questions Secretary of State John Kerry on Capitol Hill last month. In an interview with NPR, Rubio reiterated his opposition to President Obama's dealings with Iran and Cuba.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 1:35 pm

In 2012, Republicans unanimously made a vow. If their party captured the White House, they would repeal President Obama's signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act.

In 2016, they've added something else: the reversal of Obama's signature foreign policy achievements, his outreach to hostile nations.

In his second term, Obama has been working to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time in more than half a century. His administration has also been negotiating a deal to limit Iran's nuclear program.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:37 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Obama Compares Iran Deal To A House Under Contract, Awaiting Appraisal

NPR's Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama at the White House on Monday.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 12:37 pm

I've rarely seen President Obama speak in such definite terms on a thorny issue as he did yesterday about the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Read more
Parallels
3:21 am
Tue March 17, 2015

A New Community Rises In The West Bank ... And It's Not Israeli

A Palestinian family leaves the visitors center at Rawabi.
Tanya Habjouqa for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 10:23 am

Palestinian investor Bashar Masri is building an entirely new city in the West Bank. It's a huge investment, with 5,000 new homes for tens of thousands of families. And, in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it's also a political statement.

As we approached this new city of Rawabi, north of Ramallah, we saw a row of high-rise apartment buildings topped by construction cranes. Scaffolding surrounds the minaret of an incomplete mosque. Nobody has moved in yet.

Read more
Parallels
3:05 am
Mon March 16, 2015

A Rail Line That Crosses Jerusalem's Divide, But Can't Unite It

Israel's light rail runs through Jewish areas in East Jerusalem, then into Palestinian neighborhoods and on to old Israeli communities in West Jerusalem. On occasion, it has been a target for violence.
Tanya Habjouqa for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 1:43 pm

David Felber was out of breath when he met up with us at the Pigsat Ze'ev Light Rail station in East Jerusalem.

"We missed the 8 o'clock train," he panted. He didn't want to miss the 8:05.

The 53-year-old was on his way to work at the Ministry of Education in West Jerusalem.

We stepped on board to glimpse how the battle for land touches so much in this region, including Felber's commute.

Jerusalem's light rail system connects the two halves of a divided city. Israel captured East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War against Arab nations almost half a century ago.

Read more
Parallels
5:27 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Palestinians Ask: The Two-State Solution Or The Two-State Illusion?

Palestinians held rallies last November, like this one in the West Bank city of Nablus, to mark the 10th anniversary of the 2004 death of Yasser Arafat. Palestinians are increasingly frustrated with the two decades of on-and-off peace talks that have not led to an independent Palestinian state.
Jaafar Ashtiyeh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 5:20 pm

Palestinians in the West Bank don't get to vote in Israel's election on Tuesday, but they do have opinions.

And at a time when talks toward creating a Palestinian state have stalled, there are Palestinians like Ahmad Aweidah who are seeking alternatives to the traditional call for a two-state solution.

Aweidah is among those busy building the outward signs of a Palestinian state. Such efforts were visible when we went to visit him in the city of Nablus. His office is upstairs from the National Bank of Palestine, so named even though there is no country by that name.

Read more
Parallels
4:29 am
Fri March 13, 2015

2 Israeli Candidates Struggle With Nation's Uncertain Future

Stav Shaffir, 29, left, is considered a rising star in the left-leaning Labor Party. Anat Roth, 40, is a candidate for the Jewish Home Party.
Daniella Cheslow for NPR

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 1:43 pm

While traveling in Israel this month, we asked several Israelis if they worried about the future of their country.

"Of course I'm concerned," answered Stav Shaffir.

"We're threatened from all over," said Anat Roth.

Both women are candidates for Israel's Knesset, or parliament, in Tuesday's election. They have a common concern about their country's future — its conflict with Palestinians, its relations with the rest of the world — that has driven them to vastly different political positions.

Read more
Parallels
3:40 am
Wed March 11, 2015

In The West Bank, Living Side By Side — But Agreeing On Nothing

Murad al-Khuffash (right) and his twin brother, Hazem, are Palestinian farmers living in Marda. Khuffash remembers when settlers took charge of Ariel in the 1970s.
Tanya Habjouqa for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 3:06 pm

No matter how much you've read about the struggle for land in the Middle East, it deepens your understanding to visit an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

The Israeli settlements, founded in areas that Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, raise some of the more contentious issues in the conflict.

Israel is under pressure to stop building them, and eventually to surrender many of them to make way for a future Palestinian state. The United Nations long ago said they are not legal, and critics of Israel cite them as a reason to boycott or divest from the Jewish state.

Read more
Parallels
3:34 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Iranians Wait And Wonder If A New Dawn Is Coming

Sara Noghani (left) and Pooya Shahsiah, in their shop, Tehran Collage. Many of their designs feature words from Persian poetry that speak of a new dawn.
Molly Messick NPR

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 9:43 am

When we walked into a shopping mall in Tehran, Pooya Shahsiah was waiting for us at the top of the escalator. She's the co-owner of a trendy little shop on the second floor that sells shirts, scarves, cups and jewelry. Cloth hangs along the walls in reds and yellows and blues.

There is, for example, a purple shirt with a colorful illustration of a rooster crowing. Parts of the rooster are made out of Persian words.

Read more
Parallels
3:25 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Iran's Jews: It's Our Home And We Plan To Stay

Iranian Jewish men read from the Torah scroll during morning prayers at Youssef Abad Synagogue in Tehran in 2013.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 9:33 am

Iran is a country where people at rallies routinely chant "Death to Israel." It's also home to the largest Jewish population in the Middle East outside of Israel and Turkey.

Iran's Jewish population topped 100,000 in the years before the Shah of Iran was toppled in 1979 by the country's Shiite Muslim clerics. Today, the number of Jews has dipped to below 9,000.

Read more

Pages