Melissa Block

As special correspondent, Melissa Block produces richly reported profiles of figures at the forefront of thought and culture, as well as stories and series on the critical issues of our day. Her reporting spans both domestic and international news. In addition, she is a guest host on NPR news programs, and develops podcasts based on her reporting.

Great reporting combined with compelling storytelling is vital to NPR's future. No one exemplifies that blend better than Block. As listeners well know, she has an amazing ability for telling the important stories of our age in a way that engages both the heart and the mind. It is why she has earned such a devoted following throughout her 30-year career at NPR.

As co-host of All Things Considered from 2003 to 2015, Block's reporting took her everywhere from the 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 there in 2008 helped earn NPR broadcast journalism's top honors, including a George Foster Peabody Award, duPont-Columbia Award, Edward R. Murrow Award, National Headliner Award, and the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award.

Block began at NPR in 1985 as an editorial assistant for All Things Considered and rose to become senior producer. From 1994 to 2002, she was a New York reporter and correspondent. Her reporting after the attacks of September 11, 2001, helped earn NPR a Peabody Award.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: The man accused at being at the heart of Major League Baseball's biggest doping scandal surrendered to federal agents today. Anthony Bosch is founder of the Biogenesis Anti-aging Clinic in South Florida. He's one of 10 men charged with being involved in a drug ring and has agreed to plead guilty. Federal prosecutors say Bosch and his associates distributed illegal performance enhancers to professionals...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: OK, grab the tissues, get a firm shoulder to lean on. It's time for a big cry. (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "ANCHORMAN") WILL FERRELL: (As Ron Burgundy) (Crying). MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: Yes, as part of our series on men, we asked our male listeners to tell us what movies make you cry. CORNISH: Well, thousands of you wrote in about movies such as "The Notebook, "Love Actually," "Kramer vs. Kramer." BLOCK: Films...

President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to address the influx of immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Senate Appropriations Committee is holding a hearing Thursday about the request. Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: And I'm Melissa Block. In this part of the program - the surge of migrants across the border...

NPR's Deborah Amos, author of Eclipse of the Sunnis , talks to Melissa Block about the extremist vision for establishing a new Sunni caliphate, as well as what it might look like if a group like ISIS managed to do so. Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: That's NPR's Leila Fadel speaking to us from Erbil in Iraq. MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: ISIS has made clear its intention to establish what it calls an Islamic caliphate across much of...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: Melissa, can I have a word for a moment? MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: Absolutely. How about, thymelici? SIEGEL: Oh, the dancing chorus in ancient Greek plays? BLOCK: Yeah. SIEGEL: No, I was thinking more of, encaenia. BLOCK: Encaenia. The academic ceremony for conferring honorary degrees? SIEGEL: Well, of course. Those two everyday words figured in the Scripps National Spelling Bee that ended in a rare tie...

Information tracked by educational software can be of great help to teachers. But as Politico's Stephanie Simon explains, private companies can also monetize the data by selling it to marketers.

Transcript MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: At Arlington National Cemetery on this memorial day President Obama paid tribute to the country's war dead. The President had just returned from a weekend visit to Afghanistan. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVAL RECORDING) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: For more than 12 years men and women like those I met with, have borne the burden of our nation's security. Now because of their profound sacrifice because the progress that they have made, or in a pivotal moment. Our troops are...

Scott Gold, senior writer for The Los Angeles Times discusses Elliot Rodger, the man who police say went on a stabbing and shooting rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., last week before killing himself.

Herb Jeffries was the first singing star of all-black cowboy movies in the late 1930s, garnering him the nickname the "Bronze Buckeroo." The jazz baritone had a seven-decade career, including singing with Duke Ellington's Band. He died Sunday in California, at age 100. Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: He was known as the Bronze Buckaroo. Hollywood's first Black singing cowboy Herb Jeffries. BLOCK: He starred in movies including ...

The federal Medicare program for the elderly and disabled will cover two new drugs that can cure hepatitis C, a liver disease that can cause cancer and lead to death. The drugs are very expensive, but they cure hepatitis C in most cases. The government and insurers are concerned about these costs; three million Americans have hepatitis C, most of whom don't know they have it.

The New York Times has announced that Dean Baquet, the newspaper's managing editor, will replace Jill Abramson as the executive editor. Both Abramson and Baquet were named to their current jobs in 2011. NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik comments on the move. Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: And I'm Melissa Block. A surprise...

Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: And I'm Melissa Block. One of the nation's top universities is taking a stand against coal. Responding to dire warnings about the effects on climate change, Stanford made this announcement: the school's nearly $19 billion endowment fund will no longer make direct investments in companies that mine coal for energy. Environmentalists have been calling for colleges and others to...

Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Elsewhere in the Middle East, Israel has broken off peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. Israeli leaders say they're doing that because the Palestinian Authority is forming a joint government with the militant group Hamas. MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: For years, Hamas has run the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority holds power in the West Bank. Israel says it cannot negotiation with any leadership allied with a violently anti-Israel faction. Prime Minister...

Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: This next story is literally about the word... UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Literally. CORNISH: ...literally. As in a literal sense or manner. MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: That's also the name of a free Internet browser extension created by New York programmer Mike Lazer-Walker. MIKE LAZER-WALKER: So all it does, you install it in your Web browser, and then any website you visit, any time the word literally is printed, it instead replaces it with figuratively. CORNISH: That's...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EizAeISiHDM Today Cotulla, Texas, is reaping the benefits of an oil and natural gas boom in the Eagle Ford Shale. But in 1928, the South Texas town was incredibly poor — and that's how Lyndon Johnson saw it when he had his first job there at age 20. Long before he was president, Johnson spent a year teaching at what was known as the "Mexican school." The students were so poor, he later recalled seeing "Mexican children going through a garbage pile, shaking the...

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