Melissa Block is a 24-year veteran of NPR and has been hosting All Things Considered since 2003, after nearly a decade as an NPR correspondent based in New York. Her stories from Sichuan, China, in the immediate aftermath of the devastating earthquake in May 2008, earned NPR a Peabody Award, a duPont-Columbia Award, a National Headliner Award and a Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Among other breaking news stories that Melissa has covered are hurricane Katrina, the Virginia Tech shootings, and the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Block frequently travels outside of the studio to report from the communities affected by the day's news. In May 2008, Block, together with co-host Robert Siegel and a production team, were preparing for a weeklong broadcast from Chengdu, China, when a massive earthquake struck. From the moments immediately following the quake, Block and the 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.
Block reported from Blacksburg, Virginia, after the tragic campus shooting at Virginia Tech in April 2007. In the days just after Hurricane Katrina hit, she traveled to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to speak with people whose lives were upended by the storm. And, as the U.S. was about to enter the fifth year of the Iraq War in 2007, Block offered a series of stories from Fort Hood, to gauge the impact of the war on its surrounding community of Killeen, Texas.
While based in New York, Block covered police brutality and terrorism trials, and her reporting during September 11 was part of coverage that earned NPR a George Foster Peabody Award. Reporting from Kosovo in 1999, Block's investigation into rape as a weapon of war was cited among stories for which NPR News won an Overseas Press Club Award.
Block graduated from Harvard University in 1983 with a degree in French history and literature, and spent the following year as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Geneva. She is married to journalist, author and weekly NPR contributor Stefan Fatsis. They have a daughter and live in Washington, D.C.
Photo Credits: Steve Barrett