As special correspondent and guest host of NPR's news programs, Melissa Block brings her signature combination of warmth and incisive reporting. Her work over the decades has earned her journalism's highest honors, and has made her one of NPR's most familiar and beloved voices.
As co-host of All Things Considered from 2003 to 2015, Block's reporting took her everywhere from the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to the heart of Rio de Janeiro; from rural Mozambique to the farthest reaches of Alaska.
Her riveting reporting from Sichuan, China, during and after the massive earthquake in 2008 brought the tragedy home to millions of listeners around the world. At the moment the earthquake hit, Block had the presence of mind to record a gripping, real-time narration of the seismic upheaval she was witnessing. Her long-form story about a desperate couple searching in the rubble for their toddler son was singled out by judges who awarded NPR's earthquake coverage the top honors in broadcast journalism: the George Foster Peabody Award, duPont-Columbia Award, Edward R. Murrow Award, National Headliner Award, and the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award.
Now, as special correspondent, Block continues to engage both the heart and the mind with her reporting on issues from gun violence to adult illiteracy to opioid addiction.
In 2017, she traveled the country for the series "Our Land," visiting a wide range of communities to explore how our identity is shaped by where we live. For that series, she paddled along the Mississippi River, went in search of salmon off the Alaska coast, and accompanied an immigrant family as they became U.S. citizens. Her story about the legacy of the Chinese community in the Mississippi Delta earned her a James Beard Award in 2018.
Block is the recipient of the 2019 Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism, awarded by the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, as well as the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fulbright Association.
Block began her career at NPR in 1985 as an editorial assistant for All Things Considered, and rose through the ranks to become the program's senior producer.
She was a reporter and correspondent in New York from 1994 to 2002, a period punctuated by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Her reporting after those attacks helped earn NPR a George Foster Peabody Award. Block's reporting on rape as a weapon of war in Kosovo was cited by the Overseas Press Club of America in awarding NPR the Lowell Thomas Award in 1999.
Block is a 1983 graduate of Harvard University and spent the following year on a Fulbright fellowship in Geneva, Switzerland. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband — writer Stefan Fatsis — and their daughter.
Women's colleges have adapted admissions policies for a generation that increasingly identifies as nonbinary. Hollins University's exclusion of nonbinary applicants has raised hackles.
The Audubon Naturalist Society is dropping the name Audubon. John James Audubon was a famous ornithologist, who was also an enslaver and a grave robber who seized the skulls of Native Americans.
Many children of 9/11 victims were too young to remember their parents who died. They've grown up living with the tension between having a personal connection to the day but few, if any memories.
Rules on testosterone levels for women athletes have kept star runner Caster Semenya out of the Tokyo Olympics. At the heart of this heated debate: Who should be considered a woman in sport?
There's a growing call for entertainment award categories to no longer be split by gender. Some nonbinary performers say these gendered divisions erase their identity.
After turning out for racial justice and other movements in the U.S., they are frustrated by the response to attacks and hatred directed at Jews following the latest Mideast violence.
Do transgender women and girls have a constitutional right to play on women's sports teams? That question was argued before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday.
States are considering a record number of anti-transgender bills, including many that prohibit gender-affirming medical care for trans youth. Alabama's bill would make providing such care a felony.
In addition to establishing the council, President Biden has signed an executive order aimed at reversing Trump administration policies on campus sexual assault and harassment.
Family members of those who've died from COVID-19 reflect on the milestone of 500,000 U.S. deaths, and how their individual loss fits within the magnitude of that number.