NPR National Correspondent Debbie Elliott can be heard telling stories from her native South. She covers the latest news and politics, and is attuned to the region's rich culture and history.
For more than two decades, Elliott has been one of NPR's top breaking news reporters. She's covered dozens of natural disasters – including hurricanes Andrew, Katrina and Harvey. She reported on the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, introducing NPR listeners to teenage boys orphaned in the disaster, struggling to survive on their own.
Elliott spent months covering the nation's worst man-made environmental disaster, the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, documenting its lingering impact on Gulf coast communities and the complex legal battles that ensued. She launched the series "The Disappearing Coast," which examines the oil spill's lasting imprint on a fragile coastline.
She was honored with a 2018 Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation for crisis coverage, in part for her work covering the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the mass murder of worshippers at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. She was part of NPR's teams covering the mass shootings at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church and the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
Elliott has followed national debates over immigration, healthcare, abortion, tobacco, voting rights, welfare reform, same-sex marriage, Confederate monuments, criminal justice and policing in America. She examined the obesity epidemic in Mississippi, a shortage of public defenders in Louisiana, a rise in the incarceration of girls in Florida and chronic inhumane conditions at state prisons in Alabama and Mississippi.
A particular focus for Elliott has been exploring how Americans live through the prism of race, culture and history. Her coverage links lessons from the past to the movement for racial justice in America today.
She's looked at the legacy of landmark civil rights events, including the integration of Little Rock's Central High, the assassination of Mississippi NAACP leader Medgar Evers, the Montgomery bus boycott and the voting rights march in Selma, Alabama. She contributed a four-part series on the 1968 assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, which earned a 2019 Gracie Award for documentary.
She was present for the re-opening of civil rights era murder cases, covering trials in the 16th Street Church bombing in Birmingham, the murder of Hattiesburg, Miss., NAACP leader Vernon Dahmer and the killings of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Miss.
Elliott has profiled key figures in politics and the arts, including former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, historian John Hope Franklin, Congressman John Lewis, children's book author Eric Carle, musician Trombone Shorty and former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards. She covered the funerals of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, and the King of the Blues BB King, and she took listeners along for the second line jazz procession in memory of Fats Domino in New Orleans.
Her stories give a taste of southern culture, from the Nashville hot chicken craze to the traditions of Mardi Gras to the roots of American music at Mississippi's new Grammy Museum. She's highlighted little-known treasures such as North Carolina artist Freeman Vines and his hanging tree guitars, the magical House of Dance and Feathers in New Orleans' Lower 9th ward, a remote Coon Dog Cemetery in north Alabama and the Cajun Christmas tradition of lighting bonfires on the levees of the Mississippi River.
Elliott is a former host of NPR's newsmagazine All Things Considered on the weekends, and is a former Capitol Hill Correspondent. She's an occasional guest host of NPR's news programs and is a contributor to podcasts and live programming.
Elliott was born in Atlanta, grew up in the Memphis area, and is a graduate of the University of Alabama. She lives in south Alabama with her husband, two children and a pet beagle.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Friday with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, hoping another round of diplomacy will keep Russian troops massed on the border with Ukraine from invading.
Secretary of State Blinken meets with his Russian counterpart. March for Life organizers hope this year Roe v. Wade is overturned. Spotify asked to crack down on COVID falsehoods in popular podcast.
Democrats' voting rights effort was blocked in the Senate, but they did get a victory at the Supreme Court — in the quest for Trump White House records related to the Jan. 6 insurrection.
President Biden defended his first year in office. Biden insists he won't send U.S. forces to Ukraine if Russia invades. Tonga begins to recover from the eruption of an undersea volcano and tsunami.
President Biden's executive style is informed by his decades in the world's most deliberative body. Allies say this approach has shown its limits in Biden's first year as president.
Each U.S. household can order four tests from COVIDtests.gov. The administration also plans to give out 400 million N95 masks for free through pharmacies, grocery stores and community health centers.
With Russian troops massed on Ukraine's border and Washington warning Moscow may stage a false flag operation as a pretext to invade, Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Kyiv to show solidarity.
A new federal government website makes it easy to order COVID-19 tests. President Biden marks one year in office. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is trying to defuse Russia-Ukraine tensions.
Talley, who worked at Women's Wear Daily and Vogue, was a regular in the front row of fashion shows in New York and Europe. At 6-feet-6 inches tall, he cut an imposing figure wherever he went.
Children under 5 are still too young to be vaccinated for COVID-19, and that is leading to a lot of stress and disruption among their parents and their caregivers.