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. Outside the studio, she is hosting NPR Presents Michel Martin, 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, NY, Martin graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College at Harvard University in 1980 and has done graduate work at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.

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1:40pm

Wed April 3, 2013
Can I Just Tell You?

When Players Step Off The Court, Should Colleges Step Up?

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 8:01 am

Trainers check on Louisville guard Kevin Ware after he injured his lower right leg during the Midwest Regional final against Duke in the NCAA college basketball tournament.
Michael Conroy AP

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.

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8:52am

Wed October 10, 2012
Education

Tell Me More: Education Special and Twitter Forum

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:46 pm

NPR

For generations, education has been key to the American dream of advancement and opportunity. Today, NPR's Tell Me More with Michel Martin (@TellMeMoreNPR) is broadcasting from member station WLRN and hosting a Twitter education forum on where the nation's schools now stand.

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12:53pm

Wed August 1, 2012
NPR Story

Does Access To Good Health Trickle Down?

istockphoto.com

I got a chance to travel a little bit recently — and no I won't be showing slides, no matter how much you beg me. And call me a nerd but on our little car trip I found myself thinking about health care.

Certain provisions of last year's health care overhaul are going into effect today and they remain controversial...but that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about something deeper, about our country's attitudes about health and wealth, which are in front of us even when we aren't looking for them.

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12:52pm

Wed June 20, 2012
Can I Just Tell You?

Rodney King's Personal Struggle With Alcohol

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 12:03 pm

Matt Sayles AP

I still cannot stop thinking about Rodney King, whose drowning death in his swimming pool this weekend seemed like the kind of ending only the authors of a Greek tragedy would write. It's as if the Gods are sending some sort of message.

But what message? Was it really too much to ask that this man, who made mistakes in his life, but who knew what they were, who openly mourned the suffering of others, could end his life peacefully in his own bed?

Still, it's worth remembering just how that whole Greek tragedy got started. Let's let him tell it:

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1:40pm

Wed May 2, 2012
Can I Just Tell You?

Asking The Uncomfortable Questions

Michel Martin in Tell Me More's studio.
NPR

All week, we've been celebrating our fifth anniversary on the air. We actually hit that milestone on Monday, and we've been trying to have some fun with it — talking with 5-year-olds about what's fun about being 5; about five-year financial plans; and we checked in with some of the guests who were with us at the very beginning.

At this point, I realize you might be saying to yourself: Five? Big whoop! Come back to me when you're in double digits at least.

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10:50am

Wed March 21, 2012
Can I Just Tell You?

Trayvon Martin Was Afraid, Too

Do you mind if I take a few minutes to tell you about my son? He has three beautiful sisters but right now I'll just tell you about him. He is 8 now and he loves anything that involves dirt, any ball, and running around. He still has deliciously long eyelashes and long musician's fingers; he is learning to play the guitar. He likes to act like he's older than he is — a couple days ago he asked me if I thought his Nerf basketball set was "old school" and if his next babysitter could be "hot"; whatever that means.

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12:00pm

Wed March 14, 2012
Can I Just Tell You?

Two Young Men, Two Very Different Directions

The Washington Post Metro section for March 9, 2012 shows two stories, side by side, of two very different men.
Amy Ta NPR

I am dating myself here, but do you remember the 1983 film Trading Places? Where the comedians Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy played an investment broker and a street hustler, respectively, whose places in life were switched by the owners of Akroyd's fictional firm?

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9:52am

Wed February 22, 2012
Can I Just Tell You?

What Enslaves Us That We Won't Give Up?

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 1:41 pm

Nineteenth century bilboes typically found on slave ships are displayed at the Smithsonian's new exhibit: "Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty."
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

I was thinking about a conversation I had with a friend of mine who teaches very low-income kids. He talks about his kids a lot, as teachers I know often do. And he was telling me about a discussion he had with the wife of another friend.

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1:20pm

Mon January 30, 2012
Can I Just Tell You?

Your Problem, Not Mine — Until It Is

What happens to a few folks very often is a prelude to what will happen to the many.
iStockphoto.com

Here's another one of my stories about how the personal gets political. You know how it sometimes happens that without planning it, you and your friends wind up doing the same thing around the same time? Well, it so happened that a number of my friends got married around roughly the same time I did, so as you might imagine, we started comparing notes.

One day I decided to check out the wares in the salon of a famous designer I had heard a lot about. Did I say "salon"? I should have said "showroom," although I've had a better time actually buying the proverbial "used car."

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12:00pm

Mon January 9, 2012
Can I Just Tell You?

Sparking A Better Political Discourse

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 1:05 pm

How can Americans make political debates more civil and relevant to the issues at stake?
iStockphoto.com

It's here. It's really here. The presidential election, I mean. And if you like politics or love it as I do, then this is the best of times ... and the worst.

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