Michel Martin is curious about many things. "I wonder what it's like to leave everything and everyone you know for the promise of a better life, to run for President, to be a professional athlete, to parent children of a different race," she notes. "I am fascinated by people who live lives different from my own. And at the same time, I feel connected to all of these lives being a journalist, a woman of color, a wife and mother."
All these topics — from immigration to parenting in a multicultural family — are part of Tell Me More, the one-hour daily NPR news and talk show that made its national premiere on April 30, 2007, on public radio stations around the country.
Martin, who came to NPR in January 2006 to develop the program, has spent more than 25 years as a journalist — first in print with major newspapers and then in television. Tell Me More marks her debut as a full-time public radio show host. "What makes public radio special is that it's got both intimacy and reach all at once. For the cost of a phone call, I can take you around the world. But I'm right there with you in your car, in your living room or kitchen or office, in your iPod. Radio itself is an incredible tool and when you combine that with the global resources of NPR plus the commitment to quality, responsibility and civility, it's an unbeatable combination."
While working on the development of Tell Me More, Martin also served as contributor and substitute host for NPR newsmagazines and talk shows, including Talk of the Nation and News & Notes.
Martin joined NPR from ABC News, where she worked since 1992. She served as correspondent for Nightline from 1996 to 2006, reporting on such subjects as the Congressional budget battles, the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, racial profiling and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At ABC, she also contributed to numerous programs and specials, including the network's award-winning coverage of September 11, a documentary on the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas controversy, a critically acclaimed AIDS special and reports for the ongoing series "America in Black and White." Martin reported for the ABC newsmagazine Day One, winning an Emmy for her coverage of the international campaign to ban the use of landmines, and was a regular panelist on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. She also hosted the 13-episode series Life 360, an innovative program partnership between Oregon Public Broadcasting and Nightline incorporating documentary film, performance and personal narrative; it aired on public television stations across the country.
Before joining ABC, Martin covered state and local politics for the Washington Post and national politics and policy at the Wall Street Journal, where she was White House correspondent. She has also been a regular panelist on the PBS series Washington Week and a contributor to NOW with Bill Moyers.
Martin has been honored by numerous organizations, including the Candace Award for Communications from The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Joan Barone Award for Excellence in Washington-based National Affairs/Public Policy Broadcasting from the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association and a 2002 Silver Gavel Award, given by the American Bar Association. Along with her Emmy award, she received three additional Emmy nominations, including one with NPR's Robert Krulwich, at the time an ABC contributor as well, for an ABC News program examining children's racial attitudes.
A native of Brooklyn, NY, Martin graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College at Harvard University in 1980 and has done graduate work at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
Julie Zickefoose is a widely published natural history writer and artist. Educated at Harvard University in biology and art, she worked for six years as a field biologist for The Nature Conservancy before turning to a freelance art career. Her observations on the natural history and behavior of birds stem from more than three decades of experience in the field. She has presented illustrated lectures for nature organizations and festivals across the country, and exhibited her paintings at universities, museums, galleries, and in juried shows. Illustration credits include The New Yorker, Smithsonian, Spider, Cricket, and Ladybug. She has written and illustrated articles for Country Journal, and Bird Watcher's Digest has published more than 30 of Julie's articles and 17 of her cover paintings since 1986.
Julie has painted color posters and illustrated educational materials for the Laboratory of Ornithology and Cornell University, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and the Boy Scouts of America. Reader's Digest Books, Yale University Press, and National Geographic Books have published her illustrations or writing. The American Ornithologists' Union and the Academy of Natural Sciences employed her as a primary illustrator of their landmark 17-volume work, The Birds of North America.
Julie Zickefoose's writing is a unique personal narrative that creates a mood, yet informs the reader. She accompanies her writing with paintings and drawings. "A South African Tapestry," Bird Watcher's Digest (March 1995) took an Apex Award for Feature Writing. Her illustrated book, The Bird-friendly Backyard: Natural Gardening for Birds (Rodale, 2001) has sold more than 40,000 copies, and Enjoying Bluebirds More, a bluebird landlord's handbook, has sold more than half a million copies.
With her husband, Bill Thompson, III, editor of Bird Watcher's Digest, Julie lives on an 80-acre nature sanctuary in the Appalachian foothills of southeast Ohio. A 42-foot-tall bird watching tower atop their home helps them enjoy and catalogue the wildlife they protect, including 181 bird species and 67 butterfly species to date.