Eric Westervelt Correspondent Eric Westervelt is an NPR correspondent covering criminal justice issues.

Eric Westervelt Vance Jacobs/NPR hide caption

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Vance Jacobs/NPR

Eric Westervelt

Vance Jacobs/NPR

Eric Westervelt

Correspondent

Eric Westervelt has covered wars and big stories across the world and America for NPR News. He's served as a correspondent in Baghdad, Jerusalem, and Berlin; covered the Pentagon, the war in Afghanistan, North Africa's revolutions, the fall of Egypt's Mubarak, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the troubled occupation of Iraq; and reported on conflicts in Israel, Lebanon, Libya, the Gaza Strip, and more.

Eric's also reported big breaking news stories domestically from mass shootings to wildfires, helped launch NPR's innovative, award-winning education platform NPR Ed, and serves as an occasional guest host for NPR shows.

He recently switched beats again to help build a collaborative team that covers America's criminal justice system including state and local courts, prisons, juvenile justice and policing.

After nearly a decade with NPR's International Desk, Westervelt returned to the U.S. and was awarded a prestigious John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University.

The breadth and depth of Westervelt's work has been honored with broadcast journalism's highest honors including the 2002 George Foster Peabody Award for coverage of the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath; the 2003 Alfred I. duPont - Columbia University award also for 2001 terrorist attacks and the war in Afghanistan; 2004 and a 2007 duPont-Columbia Awards for NPR's in-depth coverage of the war in Iraq and its effect on Iraqi society. Eric's 2009 multi-media series with NPR photojournalist David Gilkey won an Overseas Press Club award. He shared an Edward R. Murrow RTNDA award with NPR Ed for his education coverage.

As a foreign correspondent for NPR based in the Middle East, Westervelt covered numerous conflicts and their repercussions across the Middle East. He spent several years living in the reporting on the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As Jerusalem Bureau Chief he covered 2006 Second Lebanon war between the Israeli military and Hezbollah, turmoil and combat in the Gaza Strip and the political and social issues across Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Westervelt was one of the first reporters into Baghdad during the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 embedded with the lead elements of the U.S. Third Infantry Division which fought their way into capital. He later helped cover the troubled occupation, the Iraqi insurgency, sectarian violence and the on-going struggle to recover in the post-Saddam era.

Westervelt was one of the few western reporters on the ground in Gaza during the Fatah-Hamas civil war and he reported on multiple Israeli offensives in the coastal territory. Additionally, he has reported from the Horn of Africa, Yemen and several Persian Gulf countries.

While based in Europe from 2009 to 2012, Westervelt was Berlin Bureau Chief covering a broad range of news across Europe from the euro debt crisis to political challenges and the rise of the far right Eastern Europe. In 2011 and 2012, his work included coverage of the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt to the civil war and NATO intervention in Libya.

Prior to his Middle East assignments, Westervelt covered military affairs and the Pentagon out of Washington, D.C. reporting on a wide range of defense, national security as well as foreign policy issues.

Before joining NPR's Foreign Desk nearly a decade ago, Westervelt covered some of the biggest domestic stories as a reporter on NPR's National Desk. His assignments spanned from the explosion of TWA flight 800 to the 9-11 attacks. He also covered the mass shooting at Columbine High School, the presidential vote recount following the 2000 Presidential Election, among other major stories. He also covered national trends in law enforcement and crime fighting, including police tactics, racial tensions, use of force, the drug war, racial profiling and the legal and political battles over firearms in America.

On the lighter side, Westervelt occasionally does features for NPR's Arts Desk, including profiles of blues great Freddie King and roots rock pioneer Roy Orbison as part of NPR's 50 Great Voices series. His feature on the making of John Coltrane's classic "A Love Supreme," was part of the NPR series on the most influential American musical works of the 20th century, which was recognized with a Peabody Award.

Before joining NPR, Westervelt worked as a freelance reporter in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, as a news director and reporter in New Hampshire for NHPR and reported for Monitor Radio, the broadcast edition of the Christian Science Monitor.

Westervelt is a graduate of the Putney School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Reed College and was a 2013 J.S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University.

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Story Archive

Ramona Morales, 79, had to pay about $6,000 in legal bills on top of a fine because one of her tenants kept chickens in the backyard of a rental house. Some Southern California cities are prosecuting code violators and slapping homeowners with gigantic legal bills they can't afford to pay. Jessica Chou for NPR hide caption

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Some California Cities Criminalize Nuisance Code Violations

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Experts Say Nuclear Attack Preparation Is Lacking

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On Nov. 14, 2017, a shooter killed five people and wounded several others in the rural Northern California town of Rancho Tehama. Eric Westervelt/NPR hide caption

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California Town Wrestles With Aftermath Of Shooting Rampage

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A report from the Human Rights Watch makes the case that federal law enforcers, police and local prosecutors are concealing the origins of evidence and intelligence in scores of criminal cases, especially drug arrests. Fantastic Studio/Getty Images hide caption

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Kenneth and Irene Hernandez pay their respects as they visit a makeshift memorial with crosses placed near the scene of a shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. A man opened fire inside the church in the small South Texas community in November, killing and wounding many. Eric Gay/AP hide caption

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Eric Gay/AP

Thomas Fire Burns An Area Larger Than Metro New York City

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News Brief: Outlook For Alabama, California Fires, Honduras Election

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New Evacuations As California Fires Continue

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Quick Acting School Staff In California Avert A Sandy Hook Massacre

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Northern California Gunman's Wife Found Dead, Bringing Death Toll To 6

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News Brief: Army Takes Control In Zimbabwe, Republicans Respond To Roy Moore

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4 Killed In Northern California Shooting

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How Russia Weaponized Social Media With 'Social Bots'

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