Melissa Block

Melissa Block joined NPR in 1985 and has been hosting All Things Considered since 2003, after nearly a decade as an NPR correspondent.

Frequently reporting from communities in the center of the news, Block was in Chengdu, China, preparing for a weeklong broadcast when a massive earthquake struck the region in May 2008. Immediately following the quake, Block, along with co-host Robert Siegel and their production team, traveled throughout Sichuan province to report extensively on the destruction and relief efforts. Their riveting coverage aired across all of NPR's programs and was carried on major news organizations around the world. In addition, the reporting was recognized with the industry's top honors including a Peabody Award, a duPont-Columbia Award, a National Headliner Award and the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award.

Throughout her career, Block has covered major news events for NPR ranging from on-the-scene reporting from the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the days following Hurricane Katrina to a series from Texas gauging the impact of the Iraq War on the surrounding communities. Her reporting after the September 11, 2001 attacks was part of coverage that earned NPR a George Foster Peabody Award. Block's reporting from Kosovo in 1999 was cited among stories for which NPR News won an Overseas Press Club Award.


Around the Nation
3:11 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Humpty's 2nd Fall Calls For An Artist, Not An Army

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:39 pm



Now to a modern twist on an old tale of an anthropomorphic egg.


We're talking, of course, about Humpty Dumpty. You know, the one who sat on a wall and had a great fall. And then there was the mess with all the king's horses and all the king's men. And Robert, you know the rest. They couldn't put Humpty together again.

SIEGEL: But Mr. Dumpty may have a happier ending at the Enchanted Forest theme park in Salem, Oregon. This real-life nursery rhyme starts out in a similar way.

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3:17 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

U.S. Readies To Step Onto Stage For Knockout Round Drama

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 6:01 pm

In its first match of the knockout round, the U.S. soccer team plays Belgium on Tuesday. NPR's Tom Goldman previews the game, explaining what to expect from the matchup.

Latin America
3:20 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

The Young Cuban Who's Bringing Activism In Line With The Revolution

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 6:10 pm

Morning Edition host David Greene talks to Melissa Block about his recent reporting trip to Cuba. Specifically, he speaks about a young man named Isbel Diaz Torres, a new kind of Cuban activist. Greene argues that Torres' interests serve to extend Cuba's socialist revolution, rather than oppose it.

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3:07 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

3-D Printing Lends Doctors A Hand, Building Tailor-Made Body Parts

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 7:07 pm



That's the sound of another 3-D technology, that's increasingly being used in medicine, 3-D printing. Doctors are now using 3-D printers to make replacement body parts, among other things. The printer we're hearing is at the Food and Drug Administration offices, outside Washington D.C. This is an area they are starting to regulate. So NPR's Rob Stein went and got a little tour of the FDA lab.

ROB STEIN, BYLINE: Is that white, plastic thing, below the nozzle there - is that what's being made?

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3:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

The Shape Of Extremist Ambitions In Iraq And Beyond

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:33 pm

NPR's Deborah Amos, author of Eclipse of the Sunnis, talks to Melissa Block about the extremist vision for establishing a new Sunni caliphate, as well as what it might look like if a group like ISIS managed to do so.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



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From Our Listeners
3:56 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Letters: The World Cup And The Stanley Cup

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 5:23 pm



It's time now for your letters. And first, a few moments to set some things straight. Yesterday, my co-host Audie Cornish spoke with John Browne, the former CEO of BP, who stepped down in 2007 amid a scandal involving a male escort. Now Browne has written a book urging the business world to create a better environment for gay and lesbian employees.


JOHN BROWNE: Certainly, if you look at the S&P 500, there isn't one out, gay CEO.

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4:05 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Spelling Co-Champs Beat The Bee, Leaving Judges Without Words

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 6:07 pm



Melissa, can I have a word for a moment?


Absolutely. How about, thymelici?

SIEGEL: Oh, the dancing chorus in ancient Greek plays?

BLOCK: Yeah.

SIEGEL: No, I was thinking more of, encaenia.

BLOCK: Encaenia. The academic ceremony for conferring honorary degrees?

SIEGEL: Well, of course. Those two everyday words figured in the Scripps National Spelling Bee that ended in a rare tie yesterday.

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3:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

TV Offerings Are Hotter Than Usual This Summer

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm



MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: And I'm Melissa Block. Instead of taking their usual summer vacation, the TV networks are working to get your attention this summer. They're hoping to lure your eyes away from cable channels and online shows. To talk about some of the hot summer programming that will be on the schedule, I'm joined now by NPR TV critic Eric Deggans. And Eric, summer is usually when the networks slow down, but not this year. What's going on?

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4:43 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Singing Star Of All-Black Cowboy Movies, Herb Jeffries, Dies

Herb Jeffries was the first singing star of all-black cowboy movies in the late 1930s, garnering him the nickname the "Bronze Buckeroo." The jazz baritone had a seven-decade career, including singing with Duke Ellington's Band. He died Sunday in California, at age 100.

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4:17 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Who's Using The Data Mined From Students?

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 4:43 pm

Information tracked by educational software can be of great help to teachers. But as Politico's Stephanie Simon explains, private companies can also monetize the data by selling it to marketers.