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.

National Security
4:54 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Ex-CIA Lawyer Says No One Was Misled On Torture, Abuses Were Reported

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:23 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music Interviews
5:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

The Music Midnight Makes: In Conversation With Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell in 1970.
Henry Diltz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 11:20 am

It turns out that Joni Mitchell keeps the same hours as the Morning Edition staff. She recently showed up at NPR's studio in Culver City, Calif., just before midnight to discuss Love Has Many Faces, a four-disc collection of songs dating back to the 1960s.

Read more
Music Interviews
4:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

After Decades Of Success, Joni Mitchell Is Still Just 'A Painter Who Writes Songs'

Ebet Roberts Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 11:38 am

"It took a mature woman to bring it to life. I grew into that song."

Joni Mitchell on re-recording "Both Sides Now," a song written after she'd chosen adoption for her daughter 54 years earlier. She talks about her new four-disc boxed set, Love Has Many Faces, and the different colors such a collection can reveal in a lifetime of work.

For more conversations with music-makers, check out NPR's Music Interviews.

Read more
Death Penalty
8:22 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Drug Protocol Goes Wrong In Oklahoma Execution

A death-row inmate died of a heart attack after the state attempted to execute him by lethal injection. Renee Montagne talks to Ziva Branstetter, a reporter for Tulsa Word, who covered the execution.

Parallels
3:31 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 1:50 pm

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