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Howard Berkes has been NPR's rural affairs correspondent since March 2003 focusing on the politics, economics, and culture of rural America.
Based in Salt Lake City, Berkes reports on stories that are often unique to non-urban communities or provide a rural perspective on major issues and events. In 2005, he was part of the NPR reporting team that covered Hurricane Katrina and in 2010, he reported from West Virginia on the disaster at the Upper Big Branch mine. Berkes’ reporting also includes the impact of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on military families and service men and women from rural America, including a disproportionate death rate from this community. During multiple presidential and congressional campaigns, Berkes has covered the impact of rural voters on those races.
Berkes has covered seven Olympic games including the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing and the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. He was part of the reporting team that earned NPR a 2009 Edward R. Murrow Award for Sports Reporting for coverage of the Beijing Olympics.
In 1981, Berkes pioneered NPR's coverage of the interior of the American West and public lands issues. He's traveled thousands of miles since then, to every corner of the region, driving ranch roads, city streets, desert washes, and mountain switchbacks, to capture the voices and sounds that give the region its unique identity.
Berkes' stories are heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. His analysis of regional issues has also been featured on NPR's Talk of the Nation. Berkes has also been a substitute host of Morning Edition, and Weekend All Things Considered.
An easterner by birth, Berkes moved west in 1976 and soon became a volunteer at NPR member station KLCC in Eugene, Oregon. His reports on the 1980 eruptions of Mt. St. Helens were regular features on NPR and prompted his hiring. Berkes is sometimes best remembered for his story that provided the first detailed account of the attempt by Morton Thiokol engineers to stop the fatal 1986 launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Berkes teamed with NPR's Daniel Zwerdling for the report, which earned a number of major national journalism awards. In 1989, Berkes followed up with another award-winning report that examined NASA's efforts to redesign the Space Shuttle's rocket boosters.
Reporting by Berkes in 1998 helped transform the Olympic bribery scandal from a local story in Utah into a media firestorm and attracted international attention. His ongoing reporting of Olympic politics and the Olympic Games has made him a resource to other news organizations, including The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, MSNBC, A&E's Investigative Reports, the British Broadcasting Corporation, the French magazine L'Express, and many others. When the Olympics finally arrived in Salt Lake City, Berkes' coverage included rides in a bobsled and on a luge sled in attempts to help listeners understand how those sports work.
Berkes has covered Native American issues, the militia movement, neo-nazi groups, nuclear waste, the Unabomber case, the Montana Freemen standoff, polygamy, western water issues, and more. His work has been honored by many organizations, including the American Psychological Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, and the National Association of Science Writers.
Berkes also trains news reporters, consults with radio news departments, and serves as a guest faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. Berkes was awarded a Nieman Foundation Journalism Fellowship at Harvard University in 1997.
Tom Bowman is a NPR National Desk reporter covering the Pentagon.
In his current role, Bowman has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan often for month-long visits and embedded with U.S. Marines and soldiers.
Before coming to NPR in April 2006, Bowman spent nine years as a Pentagon reporter at The Baltimore Sun. Altogether he was at The Sun for nearly two decades, covering the Maryland Statehouse, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the National Security Agency (NSA). His coverage of racial and gender discrimination at NSA led to a Pentagon investigation in 1994.
Initially Bowman imagined his career path would take him into academia as a history, government, or journalism professor. During college Bowman worked as a stringer at The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass., and thrived amid the deadlines, the competition, and the personalities both at a newspaper and in the political realm. Bowman also worked for the Daily Transcript in Dedham, Mass., and then as a reporter at States News Service, writing for the Miami Herald and the Anniston (Ala.) Star.
Over his career, Bowman has been honored with several awards for news writing and features, from the New England Press Association and the Maryland Press Association. He is also a co-winner of a 2006 National Headliners' Award for stories on the lack of advanced tourniquets for U.S. troops in Iraq. In 2010, Bowman received an Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of a Taliban roadside bomb attack on an Army unit.
Bowman earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from St. Michael's College in Winooski, Vermont, and a master's degree in American Studies from Boston College.
Timothy cut his teeth in journalism reporting for The Exeter Newsletter in New Hampshire starting in 2003. He was a staff writer for Fundraising Success, a Philadelphia-based magazine that covers development trends in the non-profit sector in 2007. He joined the news staff at WRTI in 2009, and now reports on education, science, business, local and state government, legal affairs, as well as a variety of general public-interest stories.
Timothy contributes to WRTI's weekly news feature program, News and Views, and is an occasional anchor. His work has been broadcast on NPR and the BBC. A 1999 graduate of New England College in Henniker, NH - where his academic work focused on literature and American history - Timothy also attended a master's program in American studies at the University of Massachusetts.
Timothy's news reports can be heard daily.
Leila Fadel is NPR's international correspondent based in Cairo.
Before joining NPR, she covered the Middle East for The Washington Post. In her role as Cairo Bureau Chief she reported on a wave of revolts and their aftermaths in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria.
Prior to her position as Cairo Bureau Chief for the Post, she covered the Iraq war for nearly five years with Knight Ridder, McClatchy Newspapers and later the Washington Post. Her foreign coverage of the devastating human toll of the Iraq war earned her the George. R. Polk award in 2007.
Leila Fadel is a Lebanese-American journalist who speaks conversational Arabic and was raised in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
Frank Langfitt is NPR's international correspondent based in Shanghai. He covers the epic story of China's economic rise and its implications at home and abroad for Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation and Planet Money. Along with Beijing Correspondent Louisa Lim, he also covers Japan and the Koreas.
Before moving to China, Langfitt was NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi. He covered Somalia's civil war from the front-lines in Mogadishu, where he learned to run fast in Kevlar. He interviewed cattle rustlers in South Sudan and chatted up imprisoned Somali pirates, who insisted they were just misunderstood fishermen. During the Arab spring, Langfitt covered the uprising and crushing of the reform movement in Bahrain.
Prior to Africa, Langfitt was a labor correspondent based in Washington, D.C. He covered the 2008 financial crisis, roamed the hills of West Virginia investigating coal mine disasters and worked the union halls of Detroit as General Motors and Chrysler collapsed into bankruptcy.
Shanghai is Langfitt's second posting in China. Before coming to NPR, he spent five years as a correspondent in Beijing for The Baltimore Sun. During that time, he covered the Hong Kong handover, the fall of Suharto in Indonesia and reported from Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam. In the opening days of the Afghan War, Langfitt also reported from Pakistan and Kashmir.
In 2008, Langfitt covered the Beijing Olympics as a member of NPR's team, which won an Edward R. Murrow Award for sports reporting. Langfitt's print and visual journalism have also been honored by the Overseas Press Association and the White House News Photographers Association.
Langfitt spent his early years in journalism stringing for the Philadelphia Inquirer and living in Hazard, Kentucky, where he covered the state's Appalachian coalfields for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Before becoming a reporter, Langfitt drove a taxi in Philadelphia and dug latrines in Mexico. Langfitt is a graduate of Princeton and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard.