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."

Michel can be heard across NPR news programs, bringing her deep reporting and interviewing experience to bear on NPR's coverage of relevant topics, including education, families, faith, race and social issues. In September, she will become the new weekend host of All Things Considered, striking up conversations and digging 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 NPR'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.

(Editor's Note: NPR's Michel Martin was invited by St. Louis Public Radio to moderate a community conversation on Thursday around race, police tactics and leadership following the shooting death of Michael Brown. The following story is based on what happened at the event.)

A very smart person I know, a long time civil rights activist, told me once that "gratitude is overrated."

Now, I know that sounds harsh, but what I think she meant was that some people, especially, in her view, women, are too often too quick to settle for less than they deserve. She was talking about people who are so conditioned to have nothing, that they are just too happy when they get even a little.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And we are moving into fall, so we are leaving you today with one final summer song. For the last several weeks, Gwen Thompkins has been bringing us wonderful musical nuggets from guests on her program, Music Inside Out. That's heard on WWNO in New Orleans. They're current artists who're bringing back old classics. Today, Gwen joins us for a listen to the Pfister Sisters.

GWEN THOMPKINS, BYLINE: The Pfister Sisters are a girl group that's been around for 30 years, so I don't know if it really is fair to call them a girl group.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Sarah Vaughan, Duke Ellington. That sounds like the guest list of a party you wish you'd been invited to. And in a way, you were, because all of these famous names were regular visitors to one of New Orleans' best loved restaurants.

Do you mind if I say this? You look great. The hair is on point. I love the way that shirt goes with that sweater. And, no, that's not the only thing I care about about you. But, yes, I do appreciate a good looking....whoever you are. And now that I think about it, whoever you are, it would be great if we could all just admit that that how you feel about what I just said well, it depends. It depends on who you are, what you do and, yes, how badly you need or want that compliment.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll hear the latest installment in our tweet poetry series, Muses and Metaphor, but first, we'd like to talk about an effort to add some flavor to the top ranks of restaurant kitchens in America's spiciest city.

Finally today, I have to say something about Kevin Ware — the Louisville basketball player who suffered a gruesome injury during an NCAA tournament win against Duke last Sunday.

Some people enjoy the Super Bowl commercials more than the football game. Host Michel Martin and Tampa Bay Times media critic Eric Deggans run through the best and worst ads; from senior citizens making late night trips to Taco Bell to nerds getting really sloppy kisses.

Pages