Michel Martin

Michel Martin is curious about many things. "I wonder what it's like to leave everything and everyone you know for the promise of a better life, to run for President, to be a professional athlete, to parent children of a different race," she notes. "I am fascinated by people who live lives different from my own. And at the same time, I feel connected to all of these lives being a journalist, a woman of color, a wife and mother."

As weekend host of All Things Considered, Martin draws on her deep reporting and interviewing experience to dig in to the week's news. Outside the studio, she is hosting "Michel Martin: Going There," an ambitious live event series in collaboration with Member Stations.

Martin came to NPR in 2006 and launched Tell Me More, a one-hour daily NPR news and talk show that aired on NPR stations nationwide from 2007-2014 and dipped into thousands of important conversations taking place in the corridors of power, but also in houses of worship, and barber shops and beauty shops, at PTA meetings, town halls, and at the kitchen table.

She has spent more than 25 years as a journalist — first in print with major newspapers and then in television. Tell Me More marked her debut as a full-time public radio show host. "What makes public radio special is that it's got both intimacy and reach all at once. For the cost of a phone call, I can take you around the world. But I'm right there with you in your car, in your living room or kitchen or office, in your iPod. Radio itself is an incredible tool and when you combine that with the global resources of NPR plus the commitment to quality, responsibility and civility, it's an unbeatable combination."

Martin has also served as contributor and substitute host for NPR newsmagazines and talk shows, including Talk of the Nation and News & Notes.

Martin joined NPR from ABC News, where she worked since 1992. She served as correspondent for Nightline from 1996 to 2006, reporting on such subjects as the congressional budget battles, the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, racial profiling and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At ABC, she also contributed to numerous programs and specials, including the network's award-winning coverage of September 11, a documentary on the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas controversy, a critically acclaimed AIDS special and reports for the ongoing series "America in Black and White." Martin reported for the ABC newsmagazine Day One, winning an Emmy for her coverage of the international campaign to ban the use of landmines, and was a regular panelist on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. She also hosted the 13-episode series Life 360, an innovative program partnership between Oregon Public Broadcasting and Nightline incorporating documentary film, performance and personal narrative; it aired on public television stations across the country.

Before joining ABC, Martin covered state and local politics for the Washington Post and national politics and policy at the Wall Street Journal, where she was White House correspondent. She has also been a regular panelist on the PBS series Washington Week and a contributor to NOW with Bill Moyers.

Martin has been honored by numerous organizations, including the Candace Award for Communications from The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Joan Barone Award for Excellence in Washington-based National Affairs/Public Policy Broadcasting from the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association and a 2002 Silver Gavel Award, given by the American Bar Association. Along with her Emmy award, she received three additional Emmy nominations, including one with WNYC's Robert Krulwich, at the time an ABC contributor as well, for an ABC News program examining children's racial attitudes.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Martin graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College at Harvard University in 1980 and has done graduate work at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

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On Friday, Puerto Rico suffered the latest setback in the island's ongoing debt crisis. Talks on restructuring the nearly $9 billion debt of its power company, a government-owned utility, reached an impasse. While the utility, PREPA, said Sunday that it had reached a forbearance agreement with lenders, negotiations on its debt restructuring still have not reached a resolution since the last deal expired Friday night.

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The View From Tehran

Jan 16, 2016
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We wanted to get a sense of how this is playing out in Tehran, so we've called Arthur MacMillan. He's the deputy bureau chief for Agence France-Presse in Tehran. Arthur MacMillain, thanks so much for speaking with us.

ARTHUR MACMILLAN: You're welcome.

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Earlier this month, it emerged that Wheaton College had begun the process of firing Larycia Hawkins, a tenured associate professor of political science at the evangelical Christian school near Chicago. Hawkins was suspended last month after she decided to wear a headscarf during the Advent season to show solidarity with Muslims during a difficult period.

At the time, she posted a message on Facebook about the move, saying Christians and Muslims "worship the same God."

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Human Rights Watch says as many as 75 people have been killed by Ethiopian security forces in confrontations. The government acknowledges only five deaths.

What's at stake is the use of land in the Oromia region, home to the country's largest ethnic group. They are disturbed by expansion plans for Addis Ababa, the capital. But in the last few days the protests have grown in size, and in grievance — and the government's crackdown has become more violent.

We asked our East Africa correspondent Gregory Warner some questions:

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On Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus to a white man. That act of protest and her arrest sparked one of the most famous civil rights actions in American history. Sixty years later, the anniversary of the historic boycott falls during a time when complex race and civil rights issues are in headlines. Today, Tuesday, Dec. 1, I'm heading to Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery to look back on the boycott, and speak with the new generation carrying the civil rights torch.

In 2008, a surge of young voters transformed the political landscape. They were critical in making underdog candidate Barack Obama the Democratic nominee and, eventually, the president. They also helped propel Obama to a second term and gave candidates a crash course in communicating in the digital age. As we get closer to the 2016 election, are candidates successfully reaching young people?

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We haven't talked much about Boko Haram lately. If you remember, that's the Nigerian extremist group that kidnapped 300 schoolgirls last year. Well, earlier this week, the group released a video. Here's a short clip.

Mamie Parker, a former assistant director of fisheries and habitat conservation at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was the first African-American to head a regional office for that agency. But when she started out in the field, she says, she "did not see anyone that looked like me doing this type of work."

Their lives and deaths are now a part of the public record, their names part of a tragic roll call: Rodney King, Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Rekia Boyd and Tanisha Anderson. They are just some of the Americans who've been killed or harmed in encounters with police. But does it have to be that way? How do we get beyond violence and deep-seated animosities in a relationship where conflict is a part of the job?

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., returned to his home state the day after nine people were killed in Charleston's Emanuel AME Church. The crime was emotionally devastating for many of his constituents, and the senator himself lost a friend in the attack. He took time out for a wide ranging conversation about the shooting, what he believes may have caused it, and how he'd like his state — and the country — to move forward. A version of the interview aired on Here & Now.

For generations of Americans, Detroit was the place where people made things: powerful cars, amazing architecture, beautiful music. But now Detroit is entering a new chapter. After months of often tense and difficult negotiations, Detroit is now formally out of bankruptcy. Millions of dollars of contributions from private foundations and corporations helped the city preserve its acclaimed art collection. A new generation of artists and entrepreneurs, doers and makers is calling Detroit home. So we'd like to ask, what's next? What will drive Detroit's future now?

For decades, when most Americans thought about Detroit, they probably thought about the auto industry, or maybe the music of Aretha, Smokey or Diana Ross and the Supremes. More recently, they might have thought of Detroit as the poster child for municipal bankruptcy. But what about now, as the city faces a new chapter?

Scenes from Baltimore earlier this week have evoked the riots that broke out in many cities after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968. I spoke to two first responders who were on duty at the time, Ed Mattson, a retired sergeant from the Baltimore City Police who was in the tactical squad and riot squad in 1968, and Steve Souder, Director of Communications at Fairfax County Department of Public Safety. He was working in communications for the Washington D.C. Fire Department the day Dr. King died. It also made me think of my own father.

What if you had to start your school system over almost from scratch? What if most of the buildings were unusable, and most of the teachers had left or been fired? Is that a nightmare, or your dream come true?

In New Orleans, that was the reality after the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina. That set off a chain reaction that transformed the city's schools forever, first by a state takeover and then by the most extensive charter school system in the country.

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, much has been rebuilt in New Orleans — including the public schools. But the current education system is radically different from the one that people who grew up in New Orleans remember. Virtually all students in the city now attend charter schools. Many of their teachers are both new to New Orleans and new to teaching.

Immigration is a subject of intense political debate but it is also the subject of great art. For centuries, American writers and performers of all backgrounds have grappled with what it means to cross land and water — sometimes by choice, sometimes not — to take up life in a new world.

On Feb. 24, I will be joined in Miami by some of the country's most exciting young writers and performers who have also made such journeys and who have taken up the vital task of telling us what it means.

On Capitol Hill, the immigration debate is a political story. But for millions of people across the country, it is something deeper. "This is not a political issue; it is a human issue," says Diane Guerrero. "Me and my parents were a family, and now we're not. We're separated."

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