Vanessa Romo Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk.
Vanessa Romo
Stories By

Vanessa Romo

Kara Frame/NPR
Vanessa Romo
Kara Frame/NPR

Vanessa Romo

Reporter

Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.

Before her stint on the News Desk, Romo spent the early months of the Trump Administration on the Washington Desk covering stories about culture and politics – the voting habits of the post-millennial generation, the rise of Maxine Waters as a septuagenarian pop culture icon and DACA quinceañeras as Trump protests.

In 2016, she was at the core of the team that launched and produced The New York Times' first political podcast, The Run-Up with Michael Barbaro. Prior to that, Romo was a Spencer Education Fellow at Columbia University's School of Journalism where she began working on a radio documentary about a pilot program in Los Angeles teaching black and Latino students to code switch.

Romo has also traveled extensively through the Member station world in California and Washington. As the education reporter at Southern California Public Radio, she covered the region's K-12 school districts and higher education institutions and won the Education Writers Association first place award as well as a Regional Edward R. Murrow for Hard News Reporting.

Before that, she covered business and labor for Member station KNKX, keeping an eye on global companies including Amazon, Boeing, Starbucks and Microsoft.

A Los Angeles native, she is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University, where she received a degree in history. She also earned a master's degree in Journalism from NYU. She loves all things camaron-based.

Story Archive

Friday

Oprah Winfrey, pictured in January, said she will donate her stake in WeightWatchers and proceeds from any future stock options to the National Museum of African American History and Culture upon her departure from the company's board of directors. Chris Pizzello/AP hide caption

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Chris Pizzello/AP

Wednesday

People flee after gunshots were fired near the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade on Feb. 14 in Kansas City, Missouri. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Kansas City shooting was not an act of terrorism or homegrown violence, say police

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A stunned iguana lies on the sidewalk after having fallen from a tree on Jan. 6, 2010, in Surfside, Fla. Very cold temperatures can stun the invasive reptiles into a state called brumation. But the iguanas won't necessarily die. Wilfredo Lee/AP hide caption

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Wilfredo Lee/AP

Monday

A significant winter storm from the Mid-South will transition into a strong nor'easter for the Mid-Atlantic and New England on Monday. National Weather Service hide caption

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National Weather Service

Friday

The U.S. State Department issued a Level 3 travel advisory for Jamaica, saying "Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts." Ramon Espinosa/AP hide caption

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Ramon Espinosa/AP

Tuesday

Residents stand along a flooded street in Santa Barbara, California, as a powerful atmospheric river pummels the region. The storm has caused landslides, power outages, and road and airport closures across Southern California. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

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Mario Tama/Getty Images

Another atmospheric river has soaked California. What role has climate change played?

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Sunday

A first responder helps a resident evacuate from a neighborhood after a mudslide, Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, in the Beverly Crest area of Los Angeles. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP hide caption

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Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Thursday

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that up to 86% of new COVID-19 cases stem from the latest mutation, JN.1. The most recent COVID vaccines are expected to help lower chances of serious illness or hospitalization from JN.1. Rogelio V. Solis/AP hide caption

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Rogelio V. Solis/AP

Wednesday

The Federal Aviation Administration has grounded 171 of the 737 Max 9 planes in the United States, as it conducts an audit of the Boeing's production line. FAA officials have said the regulator is considering adding an independent third-party inspector to oversee Boeing inspections and quality. NTSB via AP hide caption

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NTSB via AP

As of Tuesday, Guinness World Record said it is reviewing evidence of Bobi's lifespan, while also looking for new information and "reaching out to experts and those linked to the original application." Jorge Jeronimo/AP hide caption

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Jorge Jeronimo/AP

Thursday

During his lifetime, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s views were considered radical by much of the white establishment, including the government. King was the subject of several FBI surveillance investigations, designed to collect subversive material on him. Chick Harrity/AP hide caption

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Chick Harrity/AP

Wednesday

Claudine Gay speaks during commencement ceremonies at Harvard University in May. Gay resigned as Harvard's president Tuesday amid plagiarism accusations. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

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Steven Senne/AP

Monday

Tuesday

A tractor trailer veers into ditch on Christmas Day on Interstate 80 in Nebraska as a winter storm pummels part of the Midwest. Forecasters are predicting that heavy snow and blizzard conditions will continue through early Wednesday across part of the north-central U.S. Nebraska State Patrol/AP hide caption

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Nebraska State Patrol/AP

Chimpanzees and bonobos recognize photos of groupmates they haven't seen for more than 25 years, and respond even more enthusiastically to pictures of their friends, a new study finds. Kate Grounds/Edinburgh Zoo hide caption

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Kate Grounds/Edinburgh Zoo

Friday

Marco Zamora, a 27 year-old interior decorator/design DIY-er, and Juan "El Creativo" Renteria, a 26 year-old floral artist, initially met over Instagram. The floral floating tree in Zamora's apartment is their first collaboration together. Marco Zamora hide caption

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Marco Zamora

Wednesday

The U.S. freed a close ally of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in exchange for the release of 10 Americans imprisoned in the South American country and the return of fugitive defense contractor Leonard Francis known as "Fat Leonard." Francis is at the center of a massive Pentagon bribery scandal, the Biden administration announced Wednesday. U.S. Marshals Service/via AP hide caption

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U.S. Marshals Service/via AP

Monday

Thursday

University of Nevada, Las Vegas professors Naoko Takemaru (left), Cha-Jan "Jerry" Chang and Patricia Navarro-Velez were killed during a shooting on campus on Wednesday. Takemaru oversaw UNLV's Japanese Studies program while Chang and Navarro-Velez were both professors in the business school. University of Nevada, Las Vegas hide caption

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University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tuesday

Friday

Twenty-four people have been put to death so far in 2023, up from 18 in 2022 and 11 in 2021, according to a new report by the Death Penalty Information Center. The center attributed the increase to Florida's return to executions after a 3-year pause. Pat Sullivan/AP hide caption

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Pat Sullivan/AP

Thursday

De Winton's golden mole, a blind mole that lives beneath the sand, has been rediscovered in Port Nolloth, South Africa. The small mammal has evaded scientists for nearly 90 years, using sensitive hearing that can detect vibrations from movement above the surface. JP Le Roux hide caption

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JP Le Roux

Friday

A tumbleweed roughly the size of a car was captured on video this week and posted on X, where commenters compared it to a giant hairball, belly lint gone wild, and the critters from a 1986 sci-fi horror movie. @tuidelescribano/Screen shot by NPR hide caption

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@tuidelescribano/Screen shot by NPR

Thursday

The Palm Beach County Court lawsuit was filed by Kim Banner, wife of Jeremy Banner, who died in the fatal car crash after engaging the Autopilot function on a Tesla Model 3. National Transportation Safety Board hide caption

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National Transportation Safety Board