On-Air Highlights

Meet the new Sunday NPR host

Written by witf.org, | May 7, 2013 10:27 AM

This year, NPR announced host changes to some of its NPR News programs including “Weekend Edition.” Among the changes, Rachel Martin was officially announced as host for “Weekend Edition Sunday.” She had been interim host for most of 2012 while the previous host, Audie Cornish, was substitute hosting on NPR’s flagship news program, “All Things Considered.”

Martin’s voice might sound familiar to witf listeners. In addition to reporting for NPR, she has also reported for ABC News television.

She attended the University of Puget Sound and received a bachelor’s degree in political science. She first thought she would follow her father’s footsteps and pursue a career as a lawyer.

“Like many young people I was trying to figure out what to do with my life and didn’t want to close any doors,” Martin said.

While working as a fundraiser at the foundation, she realized she was listening to NPR a lot and that it was an opportunity. “(There was) something about radio that captured my imagination,” she said. Foreign affairs became an area of particular interest. After completing her master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, she began work as a freelance reporter abroad.

Since 2010, Martin has been the National Security Correspondent for NPR. Having experience as a reporter in Afghanistan and Iraq, Martin contrasted her experience with covering issues inside the beltway. “It wasn’t difficult to get interviews with high ranking Afghanistan officials because as a reporter, you were a rare commodity — people want to tell their story.”

A more recent change for Martin has been sitting in the host’s chair for “Weekend Edition Sunday.” (She began as a temporary host for “Weekend Edition” almost a year ago). She said her favorite part of being on “Weekend Edition” has been the variety and the surprises that she can share with listeners.

Martin said she envisions her Sunday post as an opportunity to look at the big picture. “We’re going to bring up issues that tend to be forgotten even in this 24-hour cable news cycle,” she said. “Not only interview people at the center of a story, but also talk with people just off to the side, and still bring an interesting and valuable perspective.”

Martin said she looks forward to getting to know listeners through social media. (Say ‘Hi’ to her on Twitter: @rachelnpr.)

Published in On Air highlights, Radio

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