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Allison Keyes 2010

Allison Keyes

Allison Keyes is an award-winning journalist with almost 20 years of experience in print, radio, and television. She has been reporting for NPR's national desk since October 2005. Her reports can be heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition Sunday.

Keyes coverage includes news and features on a wide variety of topics. "I've done everything from interviewing musician Dave Brubeck to profiling a group of kids in Harlem that are learning responsibility and getting educational opportunities from an Ice Hockey league, to hanging out with a group of black cowboys in Brooklyn who are keeping the tradition alive." Her reports include award-winning coverage of the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York, coverage of the changes John Ashcroft sought in the Patriot Act, and the NAACP lawsuit against gun companies.

In 2002 Keyes joined NPR as a reporter and substitute host for The Tavis Smiley Show. She switched to News and Notes when it launched in January 2005. Keyes enjoyed the unique opportunity News & Notes gave her to cover events that affect communities of color on a national level. "Most news outlets only bother to cover crime and the predictable museum opening or occasional community protest," she said. "But people have a right to know what's going on and how it will affect them and their communities."

In addition to working with NPR, Keyes occasionally writes and produces segments for the ABC News shows Good Morning America and World News Tonight.

Keyes is familiar with public radio, having worked intermittently for NPR since 1995. She also spent a little less than a year hosting and covering City Hall and politics for WNYC Radio. Prior to that, she spent several years at WCBS Newsradio 880.

Keyes' eyewitness reports on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York earned her the Newswoman's Club of New York 2002 Front Page Award for Breaking News, and, along with WCBS Newsradio staff, the New York State Associated Press Broadcast Award for Breaking News and Continuing Coverage. Her report on the funeral of Patrick Dorismond earned her the National Association of Black Journalists' 2001 Radio News Award.

In addition to radio, Keyes has worked in cable television and print. She has reported for Black Enterprise Magazine, co-authored two African-American history books as well as the African American Heritage Perpetual Calendar, and has written profiles for various magazines and Internet news outlets in Chicago and New York.

Keyes got her start in radio at NPR member station WBEZ in Chicago, IL, in 1988 as an assistant news director, anchor, and reporter. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in English and journalism. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. and the National Association of Black Journalists.

When not on the air, Keyes can be found singing jazz, listening to opera, or hanging out with her very, very large cat.

  • Officials with the Drug Enforcement Agency are meeting with Maryland state police and other law enforcement officers on Thursday. They hope to find a way to head off a tainted heroin mixture that has killed nearly 40 people in the state since September. Officials say the drug is affecting users in both the suburbs and inner cities, and groups that offer services to drug abusers are moving quickly to warn users to watch out for the deadly heroin-fentanyl combination.
  • The diary contains handwritten notes by Alfred Rosenberg, a top aide to Adolf Hitler who helped shape Nazi ideology. Sara Bloomfield, director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, says it took 17 years to procure the diary.
  • A new exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., features photos and portraits of hip hop performers and a wall of graffiti. The show likens rap and hip hop to self portraiture. Most of the lyrics, after all, are boasts about the emcee's prowess and badness.
  • The Transportation Security Administration modifies some of its air-travel safety rules regarding liquids and other carry-on items over the weekend.
  • The House votes to increase the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over the next three years. The increase was part of a complicated and much debated package that includes a big cut in the estate tax and pension law changes.
  • People living near the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre, Penn., are returning to their homes as river waters recede. But flooding still threatens other communities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other parts of the Northeast.
  • Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are expressing reservations about the prospect of Gen. Michael Hayden heading the CIA. Several members of Congress say the CIA should be led by a civilian.
  • Washington-area developer Theodore Lerner will become the owner of the Washington Nationals baseball team, says Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. Lerner will pay around $450 million for the team once known as the Montreal Expos.
  • Thousands gather Sunday on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., demanding an end to genocide in Sudan's Darfur region. Celebrities, politicians, religious leaders and demonstrators urge President Bush to use his office to strengthen the multinational force protecting Darfur civilians.
  • The Maryland legislature has blocked a proposed state takeover of 11 Baltimore schools. The schools have limped along for years with low student achievement. The school district says it's fixing the problems. But state officials are skeptical.