May 10, 2010
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR


   

NPR NEWS' "MORNING EDITION" TRAVELS THE GRAND TRUNK ROAD
FROM INDIA TO PAKISTAN, WEEKS OF MAY 10 & 17

HOST STEVE INSKEEP AND FOREIGN DESK CORRESPONDENTS PHILIP REEVES AND JULIE MCCARTHY
REPORT ON CULTURE, CONFLICT AND NEXT GENERATION ALONG ANCIENT ROUTE

PHOTO GALLERIES AND DISPATCHES NOW AT NPR.ORG

For the next two weeks, NPR News' Morning Edition is traveling a road that connects some of the world's great landmarks, and some of its worst conflict zones, to meet the next generation growing up in its path.

The Grand Trunk Road reaches across South Asia through India to Pakistan, from Calcutta to New Delhi, Lahore to Peshawar and beyond. Built centuries ago by the leaders of a long-gone empire, the road passes ancient forts and religious shrines, crowded markets, national capitols and tiny villages. It points the way to tribal regions where Pakistani troops and American drones battle the Taliban.

A team of NPR correspondents and producers will explore the lives of young people along this ancient route in a series of special reports and coverage on Morning Edition and at NPR.org from May 12-21. During the trip, NPR.org will offer an interactive feature that traces the journalists’ exploration of the road, offering stories and images from throughout the journey, plus maps, photo galleries and audio slideshows.

NPR's reporting team includes foreign correspondents Philip Reeves, who has brought India alive for American listeners from New Delhi, and Julie McCarthy, NPR's leading voice covering Pakistan. Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep will anchor their coverage, returning to a region he began visiting shortly after 9/11. India's median age is about 25; Pakistan's median age is under 21. By meeting young people during the trip, NPR will learn about the past – and glimpse the future – of these two increasingly influential nations.

"Everyone says this is the hottest, absolutely worst possible time to go to South Asia," Inskeep said. "I don't mind. It's exciting to try to look beyond the headlines in India and Pakistan. We want to find how the news affects the next generation. And we want to do that along a road that holds a special place in the minds of people who know it."

NPR's team has already begun sending dispatches from the road to NPR's news blog The Two-Way, and will post regular updates on Twitter (@NPRInskeep and @morningedition) and at the Morning Edition Facebook page.

Morning Edition is public radio's most listened-to program with 13.3 million weekly listeners on 680 NPR Member stations nationwide. The two-hour weekday newsmagazine is hosted by Steve Inskeep in Washington, D.C. and Renee Montagne from NPR West in Culver City, Calif. For local stations and broadcast times, visit www.npr.org/stations