Frank Langfitt is NPR's London correspondent. He covers the UK and Ireland, as well as the war in Ukraine and its implications in Europe. Langfitt has reported from more than fifty countries and territories around the globe.
Langfitt arrived in London in June 2016. A week later, the UK voted for Brexit. He's been busy ever since, covering the most tumultuous period in British politics in decades. Langfitt has reported on everything from Brexit's economic impact, Chinese influence campaigns and terror attacks to the renewed push for Scottish independence, political tensions in Northern Ireland and Megxit. Langfitt has contributed to NPR podcasts, including Consider This, The Indicator from Planet Money, Code Switch and Pop Culture Happy Hour. He also appears on the BBC and PBS Newshour.
Previously, Langfitt spent five years as an NPR correspondent covering China. Based in Shanghai, he drove a free taxi around the city for a series on a changing China as seen through the eyes of ordinary people. As part of the series, Langfitt drove passengers back to the countryside for Chinese New Year and served as a wedding chauffeur. He expanded his reporting into a book, The Shanghai Free Taxi: Journeys with the Hustlers and Rebels of the New China (Public Affairs, Hachette).
While in China, Langfitt also reported on the government's infamous "black jails" — secret detention centers — as well as his own travails taking China's driver's test, which he failed three times.
Before moving to Shanghai, Langfitt was NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi. He reported from Sudan, covered the civil war in Somalia, and interviewed imprisoned Somali pirates, who insisted they were just misunderstood fishermen. During the Arab Spring, Langfitt covered the uprising and crushing of the democracy movement in Bahrain.
Prior to Africa, Langfitt was NPR's labor correspondent based in Washington, DC. He covered coal mine disasters in West Virginia, the 2008 financial crisis and the bankruptcy of General Motors. His story with producer Brian Reed of how GM failed to learn from a joint-venture factory with Toyota was featured on This American Life and has been taught in business schools at Yale, Penn and NYU.
In 2022, Langfitt won an Edward R. Murrow award for a journey across London exploring history of the English pub – or as some pointed out, a pub crawl.
Langfitt also won a Murrow as part of NPR's team covering the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In addition, Langfitt's print and visual journalism have been honored by the Overseas Press Association and the White House News Photographers Association.
Before coming to NPR, Langfitt spent five years as a correspondent in Beijing for The Baltimore Sun, covering a swath of Asia from East Timor to the Khyber Pass.
Langfitt spent his early years in journalism stringing for the Philadelphia Inquirer and living in Hazard, Kentucky, where he covered the state's Appalachian coalfields for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Prior to becoming a reporter, Langfitt dug latrines in Mexico and drove a taxi in his hometown of Philadelphia. Langfitt is a graduate of Princeton and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard.