Renee Montagne

Renee Montagne is co-host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the U.S. She has hosted the newsmagazine since 2004, broadcasting from NPR West in Culver City, California, with co-host Steve Inskeep in NPR's Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Montagne is a familiar voice on NPR, having reported and hosted since the mid-1980s. She hosted All Things Considered with Robert Siegel for two years in the late 1980s, and previously worked for NPR's Science, National and Foreign desks.

Montagne traveled to Greenwich, England, in May 2007 to kick off the yearlong series, "Climate Connections," in which NPR partnered with National Geographic to chronicle how people are changing the Earth's climate and how the climate is impacting people. From the prime meridian, she laid out the journey that would take listeners to Africa, New Orleans and the Antarctic.

Since 9/11, Montagne has gone to Afghanistan nine times, travelling throughout the country to speak to Afghans about their lives. She's interviewed farmers and mullahs, poll workers and President Karzai, infamous warlords turned politicians and women fighting for their rights. She has produced several series, beginning in 2002 with 'Recreating Afghanistan" and most recently, in 2013, asking a new generation of Afghans — born into the long war set off by the Soviet invasion — how they see their country's future.

In the spring of 2005, Montagne took Morning Edition to Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul ll. She co-anchored from Vatican City during a historic week when millions of pilgrims and virtually every world leader descended on the Vatican.

In 1990, Montagne traveled to South Africa to cover Nelson Mandela's release from prison, and continued to report from South Africa for three years. In 1994, she and a team of NPR reporters won a prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of South Africa's historic presidential and parliamentary elections.

Through most of the 1980s, Montagne was based in New York, working as an independent producer and reporter for both NPR and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter/editor for Pacific News Service in San Francisco. She began her career as news director of the city's community radio station, KPOO, while still at university.

In addition to the duPont Columbia Award, Montagne has been honored by the Overseas Press Club for her coverage of Afghanistan, and by the National Association of Black Journalists for a series on Black musicians going to war in the 20th century.

Montagne graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, as a Phi Beta Kappa. Her career includes serving as a fellow at the University of Southern California with the National Arts Journalism Program, and teaching broadcast writing at New York University's Graduate Department of Journalism.

Pages

Parallels
12:31 am
Wed April 30, 2014

An Afghan Village Of Drug Addicts, From Ages 10 To 60

Ahmad, who wouldn't give his last name, smokes heroin. He lives in a makeshift village filled with drug addicts called Kamar Kulagh, on the outskirts of the western Afghan city of Herat.
David P. Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:50 am

Herat is one of the most graceful cities in Afghanistan. Its traditions go back to the Persian empire, with its exquisite blue and green glass, and its thriving poetry scene.

Now Herat is struggling with a darker side: drug addiction at a higher rate than almost anywhere else in the country.

In a dusty ravine on the outskirts of the city, Ahmad, a scruffy 20-year-old, is striking a match to inhale heroin.

It's a simple act he repeats throughout his day — heating a dark slab of heroin paste smeared on a bit of foil so he can smoke it.

Read more
Law
9:26 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Rules On Race-Based College Admissions

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 9:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The Supreme Court this morning, upheld a ban on using racial preferences in admissions to the public universities of Michigan. The ban was enacted by referendum as an amendment to the state constitution in 2006 and struck down by a lower court. Today, the justices voted 6-to-2 to say the federal courts could not do that and the ban had to stand.

Read more
Afghanistan
2:14 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Afghanistan Is One Step Closer To Karzai's Successor

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 5:17 am

On Saturday, voters turned out in large numbers despite threats of Taliban violence. It will take weeks to learn who will become Afghanistan's next president. Hamid Karzai can't run for a third term

Around the Nation
3:37 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Man Finds More Than A Nest Egg At Flea Market

A scrap metal dealer bought a golden egg at a flea market for $14,000 and planned to melt it for a profit. But he discovered it was a Faberge egg — given by Alexander III to his empress in 1887.

World
3:02 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Will Sanctions Against Russia Work?

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 3:37 am

In Brussels on Thursday, EU leaders will discuss stronger sanctions against Russia. Juan Zarate, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, talks about their options.

Economy
1:31 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Fed Signals It Won't Tap Brakes Until Job Market Improves

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 3:37 am

David Wessel of the Brookings Institution talks about Janet Yellen's first policy meeting and press conference since taking over as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve.

Africa
2:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

South Africans Engrossed By Pistorius Trial

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:48 am

Host Renee Montagne talks to Erin Conway-Smith, southern Africa editor for GlobalPost, about the murder trial of Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius.

Food
2:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

BrusselKale: A Match Made In Heaven

A U.K. seed company has taken the leafy look and peppery taste of kale and added the flavor of Brussels sprouts. You can buy BrusselKale now in Ohio and Pennsylvania; it debuts nationally this fall.

Around the Nation
3:17 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Young Mathematicians Hope They've Calculated Winning NCAA Bracket

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 8:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Aspiring high school mathematicians gathered in New York for March Mathness. Even for kids who don't love sports, the professor leading the event told The Times there are a billion reasons to love brackets this year: Warren Buffett's reward for picking the winners for all 67 NCAA games. The math geeks are hoping linear algebra and complex computer codes will help them beat the odds: 9.2 quintrillion to one. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

National Security
10:17 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Obama Calls For More Transparency, Privacy Protections At NSA

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 10:39 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's talk more about changes to the National Security Agency that President Obama is announcing as we speak at the Justice Department. And we're joined in our studio by Tamara Keith and Tom Gjelten. And let's just begin.

Tom, you told us earlier today that technology companies wanted greater transparency. They want the public to know more about what the NSA is doing. What is the president proposing today?

Read more
Movies
12:07 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Oscar Nods Go To 'American Hustle,' 'Gravity,' '12 Years A Slave'

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Oscar nominations are in. They were announced this morning in Beverly Hills. And "American Hustle" and "Gravity" are the early front-runners. Each of them got 10 Academy Award nominations, including best picture. "12 Years a Slave" was close behind with nine nominations. For more, we're joined now by Linda Holmes, who writes and edits NPR's entertainment and pop culture blog Monkey See. Good morning.

LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE: Good morning to you.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:06 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Northeast Hit With Snow And Powerful Winds

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 11:16 am

A very cold winter storm is engulfing much of the Northeast, dumping more than 20 inches of snow in some areas and bringing strong winds along with it. Schools are closed in Boston and New York City. Thousands of flights have been canceled. Officials around the region are asking people to stay home and let road crews do their work.

Middle East
2:11 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Corruption Scandal Jeopardizes Turkey's Image Of Stability

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 4:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Turkey's government is defending itself against a corruption scandal. That scandal has shaken a nation often described as the model for moderate Islamic democracy. The scandal reaches the highest levels of the government, and has sparked a strong backlash by Turkey's ruling party.

We reached NPR's correspondent in Istanbul, Peter Kenyon, to learn more about what's going on.

Read more
Law
7:27 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Justice Sotomayor Blocks Part Of Birth Control Mandate

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 8:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
Asia
4:52 am
Fri December 13, 2013

What The Execution Of Kim Jong Un's Uncle Means For N. Korea

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. We're looking this morning at two stories of international intrigue. First to North Korea. Until recently, the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un was the country's second-in-command. Earlier this week, though, he was detained on national television, hustled out of a meeting by guards.

Read more
The Salt
11:53 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

LA Food Truck King Tells His Story, One Recipe At A Time

Five years ago, chef Roy Choi and a partner launched Kogi and ushered in a food truck "new wave" in Los Angeles. He tells his story in his new book, L.A.Son: My Life, My City, My Food.
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 12:09 pm

Roy Choi ushered in a food truck "new wave" in Los Angeles, making street fare edgier, tastier. Five years ago, he and a partner launched Kogi — Korean for meat — with a small fleet of trucks offering up a Korean-Mexican fusion that inspired food entrepreneurs in cities across America where the trend caught fire. His signature creation? The short rib taco: warm tortillas, Korean barbecue beef, cilantro-onion-and lime, topped with a spicy-soy slaw.

Read more
Analysis
1:55 am
Mon October 7, 2013

No Political Compromise Keeps Most Federal Offices Closed

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And with some perspective on why the two sides are so dug in, and what options Speaker Boehner and President Obama may be weighing, we turn as we do most Mondays to Cokie Roberts. Good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi. How are you, Renee?

MONTAGNE: And Cokie, given what Tamara just reported, that a small but very key group of Republicans are unlikely to go along with a possible solution to the next crisis that's looming - that's a possible default on the national debt - what does Speaker Boehner do?

Read more
Business
2:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

A Check On The Housing Industry

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 3:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There is, of course, a lot of attention being paid about what's happening in Richmond because millions of other American homeowners around the country are also underwater - again, homes that are worth less than their mortgages. We're joined now by NPR correspondent Chris Arnold, who's been following all of this. Good morning.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: How many homeowners are still underwater? I gather with the housing market coming back, this is changing - for the better.

Read more
NPR Story
1:26 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Documents Show NSA Violated Court Restrictions

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:54 am

The National Security Agency violated special court restrictions on the use of a database of telephone calls, but the NSA says it fixed those problems. That's the bottom line from more documents declassified by the director of National Intelligence. The document dump is part of an effort to share more details about NSA surveillance activities that were uncovered by former government contractor Edward Snowden.

Asia
2:11 am
Tue September 10, 2013

India Court Convicts 4 Men In Fatal Gang Rape

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 4:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A judge in New Delhi has just delivered his guilty verdict for four men who raped and murdered a young woman on a city bus back in December. It was one of the most high profile cases in Indian history. The horrific crime stirred a national debate over the country's lax prosecution of crimes against women and became an international issue as well. We talk to NPR's Julie McCarthy who was at the courthouse. Good morning.

JULIE MCCARTHY, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

Read more

Pages