Melissa Block is an award-winning reporter who has been with National Public Radio (NPR) for nearly three decades. A 1983 graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe, she has been the host of NPR's All Things Considered since 2003.
She will be introduced by Ann Marie Lipinski, curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Lipinski has served as the cochair of the Pulitzer Prize Board and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in the class of 1990.
In the lecture, Block will reflect on the history of All Things Considered and on the current role of public radio in America, given the shifting and increasingly digital media landscape. She will also discuss the themes of NPR’s reporting, the primacy of storytelling, the role of humor, and the challenges presented by the ever-increasing pressure to break stories. Drawing on her years of experience reporting around the globe, she will share an insider’s perspective on the daily interviews, features, and commentaries that bring the news alive through sound.
About Melissa Block
Block—who frequently reported from communities at the center of the news—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 cohost 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 an Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award, a George Foster Peabody 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, including on-the-scene reporting from the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the days following Hurricane Katrina and a series from Texas gauging the impact of the Iraq War on local communities. Her reporting after the September 11, 2001, attacks was part of coverage that earned NPR a Peabody Award, and her reporting from Kosovo in 1999 was cited among stories for which NPR News won a Lowell Thomas Award from the Overseas Press Club of America.
About Ann Marie Lipinski
Ann Marie Lipinski is the curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, a position she assumed in 2011. She has served as the cochair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, of which she was a member from 2003 to 2012. Prior to assuming her leadership of the Nieman Foundation, Lipinski served as a senior lecturer and the vice president for civic engagement at the University of Chicago and as the editor of the Chicago Tribune, a post she held for nearly eight years following assignments as managing editor, metropolitan editor, and investigations editor. As a reporter at the Tribune, Lipinski was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism for stories she did with two other reporters on corruption in the Chicago City Council. While editor of the paper, she oversaw work that won the Tribune Pulitzers in several categories, including international reporting, feature writing, editorial writing, investigative reporting, and explanatory journalism.