Noel King | WYPR

Noel King

Noel King is a host of Morning Edition and Up First.

Previously, as a correspondent at Planet Money, Noel's reporting centered on economic questions that don't have simple answers. Her stories have explored what is owed to victims of police brutality who were coerced into false confessions, how institutions that benefited from slavery are atoning to the descendants of enslaved Americans, and why a giant Chinese conglomerate invested millions of dollars in her small, rural hometown. Her favorite part of the job is finding complex, and often conflicted, people at the center of these stories.

Noel has also served as a fill-in host for Weekend All Things Considered and 1A from NPR Member station WAMU.

Before coming to NPR, she was a senior reporter and fill-in host for Marketplace. At Marketplace, she investigated the causes and consequences of inequality. She spent five months embedded in a pop-up news bureau examining gentrification in an L.A. neighborhood, listened in as low-income and wealthy residents of a single street in New Orleans negotiated the best way to live side-by-side, and wandered through Baltimore in search of the legacy of a $100 million federal job-creation effort.

Noel got her start in radio when she moved to Sudan a few months after graduating from college, at the height of the Darfur conflict. From 2004 to 2007, she was a freelancer for Voice of America based in Khartoum. Her reporting took her to the far reaches of the divided country. From 2007 - 2008, she was based in Kigali, covering Rwanda's economic and social transformation, and entrenched conflicts in the the Democratic Republic of Congo. From 2011 to 2013, she was based in Cairo, reporting on Egypt's uprising and its aftermath for PRI's The World, the CBC, and the BBC.

Noel was part of the team that launched The Takeaway, a live news show from WNYC and PRI. During her tenure as managing producer, the show's coverage of race in America won an RTDNA UNITY Award. She also served as a fill-in host of the program.

She graduated from Brown University with a degree in American Civilization, and is a proud native of Kerhonkson, NY.

When NPR host Scott Simon was in his late teens, he took a job in an assisted living facility in Chicago, working with people who had developmental disabilities.

"It was more formative in my life, I think, than most any war I've covered, any political campaign I've covered, any reportorial experience I've had," Simon says. "It really opened my eyes into seeing the world differently."

Simon has wanted to tell this story for years, and so he drew on the experiences he had back then to write a new mystery for young readers called Sunnyside Plaza.

As she played the role of Jo March in the new film adaptation of Little Women, Saoirse Ronan started to appreciate just how much the story is about memory and childhood.

Louisa May Alcott's novel follows four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, growing up during the Civil War. Their father has gone off to fight for the Union Army and they're at home with their mother, Marmee.

Rosa Parks is best remembered as the African American woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. It was 1955 in the segregated South and the start of the Montgomery bus boycott.

That moment made her the face of the civil rights movement — but there was much more to her than that single act of defiance.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

President Trump is abruptly reimposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Brazil and Argentina.

Trump announced the move in a pair of tweets Monday, saying he was acting in response to "massive devaluation" of the two countries' currencies. Brazil and Argentina had been exempted from Trump's 25% tariff on imported steel and his 10% tariff on imported aluminum since May of last year.

In her debut feature film, screenwriter Lena Waithe has written an odyssey set in the Black Lives Matter era.

Queen & Slim is about an African American couple on the run after a routine traffic stop gone wrong. They kill a white police officer in self-defense, and rather than entrust themselves to the U.S. criminal justice system, they flee.

Lindy West says it's really not fair to expect teenagers to inspire us. "They should just get to be kids, but unfortunately that's not the world that we have dropped them into," West says. "We did a bad job, and they have to shoulder a lot of fear and a lot of anxiety about the future."

Harriet Tubman is an American figure whose story is so incredible, it's still almost hard to believe that it's true. After escaping slavery, she made numerous trips to save those still enslaved.

The new movie Harriet examines the life of this extraordinary figure through something like a superhero origin story.

"Yes, it's a superhero journey, you know, and it's a real-life superheroine," says director Kasi Lemmons. "But also just to give you access to her so you feel like you had lunch with her and you feel like you can get next to who she was."

Don't see the video? Click here.

When you hear a big idea from a presidential candidate, do you ever want to ask: How would that work?

Two undecided voters John Zeitler, a 48-year-old attorney for an insurance company, and Hetal Jani, 36, who runs a nonprofit focused on education and mentorship, wanted to know more about the "freedom dividend" proposal from first-time presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

Even in a pop cultural landscape dominated by costumed superheroes and masked vigilantes, HBO's new series Watchmen stands out. Watchmen was originally a comic that first came out in 1986, and it was seen as groundbreaking for its realistic and complex handling of what it might mean for someone to put on a mask and fight crime.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

The United States is pulling its forces out of northern Syria. And the Syrian government is moving back in.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hungary's government is pushing back against European Union assertions that it is putting democracy in danger, says Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

The fierce loyalist of hard-line, right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban is also calling the U.S. intention to restart Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in the country an "insult."

Samantha Power has been many things: an activist, a war correspondent, an author and a policymaker.

She served on President Obama's National Security Council, and later, she was his ambassador to the United Nations.

In her new memoir, The Education of an Idealist, she describes how she went from working outside the system – as a fierce and idealistic defender of human rights — to moving inside, as a diplomat who must, above all else, be ... diplomatic.


Interview Highlights

On her sense of danger and risk

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock entered the Democratic primary in May, months after many of his competitors. He has an excuse.

In Stranger Things 3, the citizens of the fictitious town of Hawkins, Ind., have a turbulent Fourth of July ahead of them. But the unconventional teenage protagonists of the show, led by grumpy police chief Jim Hopper, are ready for the challenge.

Hopper is played by David Harbour, a veteran actor who began his career more than 20 years ago. He found success on stage, TV and film, but Harbour didn't land a breakout role until the '80s nostalgia-fueled, sci-fi adventure came along.

A new TV show, set in Boston in the 1990s, centers on some action-packed armored-car robberies. A crime drama in Boston: You've heard this before.

But City on a Hill, which premieres Sunday on Showtime, is aiming for distinction. It stars actor Aldis Hodge as a straight-and-narrow assistant district attorney working within a crooked justice system. He's new in town, and determined to take on these robbery cases.

At age 32, Elaine Welteroth has become what we now call an "influencer."

She was the first black beauty director at a Condé Nast magazine. It was Teen Vogue; she was 25. She leveraged that to become its editor-in-chief. And under her watch, Teen Vogue became known for taking on really tough topics: civil rights, abortion and lots and lots of politics.

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay says she receives a couple dozen tweets a day from people asking her to make a movie from their life story. But this #wishfulthinking tweet from Raymond Santana caught her eye:

Santana was one of five teens arrested for the 1989 assault and rape of a white woman in New York's Central Park. The boys were pressured into false confessions and convicted. All served time. A murderer who was already serving a life sentence later confessed to the rape.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper warned his party of straying too far to the left as it selects a nominee to face President Trump in next year's election.

DAWN is a survivor. You can hear it when she tells her story and you can hear it when she sings her songs.

The singer-songwriter-producer, f.k.a. D∆WN or Dawn Richard, first rose to notoriety as a member of Diddy's R&B group Danity Kane. The group dropped its debut album in August of 2006, one year after Hurricane Katrina hit DAWN's hometown of New Orleans. She still remembers being stranded on a highway with her family when Katrina hit.

Imagine a world without borders ... and a coloring book without lines. That's the idea behind Coloring Without Borders, a new bilingual kids book, created to help immigrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Last year, NPR Music introduced Turning the Tables, a list of the greatest albums made by women in the classic album era. Today, the second iteration of the list concentrates on the 200 greatest songs by women and non-binary artists in the new millennium.

When Martin Luther King, Jr. flew from Atlanta to Memphis on the morning of April 3, 1968, he was not in a particularly good state of mind.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: