Melissa Block Melissa Block is a special correspondent and guest host of NPR's news programs.
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Melissa Block

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Melissa Block at NPR- Vertical
Allison Shelley/NPR

Melissa Block

Special Correspondent and Host

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.

Story Archive

Regina Spektor releases new album 'Home, Before And After' after a 6-year break

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YouTube Minecraft player Technoblade — now also known as Alex — dies from cancer

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'Night of the Living Rez' chronicles one tribe's struggle with poverty and addiction

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Saturday sports: USC, UCLA go to Big Ten; Serena Williams returns at Wimbledon

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Strict border policies contribute to rising immigrant deaths

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Baratunde Thurston shows us a good time outdoors, but poses the big questions, too

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25 years ago, Britain handed control of Hong Kong back to China

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Health insurers are now required to post prices they pay to hospitals

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Some abortions are necessary to save the life of a patient

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University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas at the 2022 Ivy League Women's Swimming and Diving Championships in February. Thomas, a transgender woman, has been at the center of the debate around transgender athletes. Kathryn Riley/Getty Images hide caption

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Americans are deeply divided on transgender rights, a poll shows

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Students and teachers spoke on gender and race classroom discussion bans in hearing

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Supporters of Florida's recently signed Parental Rights in Education law demonstrate at the Duval County Public Schools building in Jacksonville, Fla., on May 3. Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union/USA Today Network via Reuters Co. hide caption

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Accusations of 'grooming' are the latest political attack — with homophobic origins

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The buzzword grooming is an age-old trope that feeds off fear

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Hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills have already been introduced this year. Here may be why

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The White House announces moves to gender neutral passports

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