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."

All these topics — from immigration to parenting in a multicultural family — are part of Tell Me More, the one-hour daily NPR news and talk show that made its national premiere on April 30, 2007, on public radio stations around the country.

Martin, who came to NPR in January 2006 to develop the program, has spent more than 25 years as a journalist — first in print with major newspapers and then in television. Tell Me More marks 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."

While working on the development of Tell Me More, Martin 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, D.C.

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Education
8:52 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Tell Me More: Education Special and Twitter Forum

NPR

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

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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NPR Story
12:53 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

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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Can I Just Tell You?
12:52 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Rodney King's Personal Struggle With Alcohol

Matt Sayles AP

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

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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Can I Just Tell You?
1:40 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

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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Can I Just Tell You?
12:03 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

In Rush To Punish, Are We Missing Something?

Alex, one of the kids who struggles with bullies in Lee Hirsch's documentary Bully.
Weinstein Co.

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 1:26 pm

Have you noticed that the good thing about a job and the bad thing about a job are usually the same thing? The good thing and the bad thing about my job is that sometimes there are stories you just cannot get out of your head. Right now, there are two stories like that for me, and they are both kind of tough to talk about, so please be forewarned.

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Can I Just Tell You?
10:50 am
Wed March 21, 2012

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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Can I Just Tell You?
12:00 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

The Power Of Memoirs, Biographies

Books of Tell Me More's Black History Month memoir series and Women's History Month biography series.
Amy Ta

We hope you enjoyed digging into our Black History Month memoirs as much as we did.

And if you are hungry for more good, true stories about people you may not know much about ... for Women's History Month, which starts on Thursday, we will be doing much the same thing.

We will be checking out recent biographies of famous and not so famous women whose life stories have been explored by talented writers.

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Can I Just Tell You?
9:52 am
Wed February 22, 2012

What Enslaves Us That We Won't Give Up?

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

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

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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Can I Just Tell You?
1:20 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

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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Can I Just Tell You?
12:00 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Sparking A Better Political Discourse

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

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

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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