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.
As the U.S. nears the grim milestone of 100,000 dead from COVID-19, various projects around the country are trying to make sure that those who have died are remembered for who they were.
The White House says coronavirus indicators are trending down across most of the U.S., but are a concern in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles. City health officials say progress is being made.
Christopher Mores is among those trying to unlock secrets of the novel coronavirus. He spends 14-hour days with his team throwing everything they have at this pathogen, looking for ways to defeat it.
A small team at Johns Hopkins University early on created what's become one of the most authoritative interactive online dashboards, tracking COVID-19 data around the world.
There have been dramatic spikes in demand for sedatives, pain medications, paralytics and other drugs that are crucial for patients who are on ventilators.
Life expectancy in the U.S. has taken a significant downward turn. This is especially true in Ohio and West Virginia, which have the highest rates of overdose deaths among people ages 25 to 64.
Of all the deaths by gunfire in Colorado, suicides account for about 80 percent. A coalition of doctors, public health researchers and gun shop owners are working together to prevent that self-harm.
It's estimated that nearly half of all Americans over 65 own a gun or live with someone who does. And 7 million in the U.S. have dementia, a number that's expected to double within two decades.
Dr. Adam McMahan comes to Klukwan, a tiny town in Southeast Alaska, just two days a week. But he's come to know his patients well, and attends to more than just their medical needs.
In Kutztown, Pa., school nurses stock naloxone to treat heroin overdoses. "Kids aren't afraid of it," a guidance counselor says. "It's available and it's cheap."