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.
NPR's Melissa Block speaks to musician Regina Spektor, who's known for her lyricism, about her first album in six years, "Home, Before And After."
One of the most popular Minecraft players on YouTube, known as "Technoblade," died this week after a battle with cancer. In a farewell message, he finally divulged his first name: Alex.
NPR's Melissa Block talks with author Morgan Talty about his book, "Night of the Living Rez," a series of short stories about members of a Native American tribe wrestling with poverty and addiction.
NPR's Melissa Block speaks with Howard Bryant of Meadowlark Media about the coming changes in college sports conferences, NBA free agency, and Serena Williams' Wimbledon comeback.
NPR's Melissa Block speak with Houston Chronicle reporter Elizabeth Trovall about how the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on immigration policy and how the death of 53 migrants this week is related.
NPR's Melissa Block speaks to writer and comedian Baratunde Thurston about his new PBS series, "America Outdoors," which takes viewers on numerous adventures but also has a serious bent.
NPR's Melissa Block speaks with two friends from Hong Kong born 25 years ago, when China resumed control over the city. They've faced difficult decisions since, personally and politically.
The federal government says insurers must publicly post the amounts they pay hospitals and doctors. It's another step toward price transparency in the country's complicated health care system.
Even states that are banning abortion typically give exceptions to save the life of the patient. NPR's Melissa Block speaks with Dr. Lisa Harris, an OB-GYN in Michigan, about those exceptions.
Old accusations of LGBTQ people "grooming" and "recruiting" children have gained new traction. When have we heard this before? What's the most persuasive counter-narrative to win over public opinion?