Frank Langfitt

Frank Langfitt is NPR’s foreign correspondent in East Africa. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, he covers nine countries, from the jungles of eastern Congo to the streets of Mogadishu. His stories on conflict, wildlife and the continent’s growing ties with China can be heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Tell Me More and the Planet Money series.

Before moving to Africa in 2010, Langfitt was a NPR business correspondent based in Washington, D.C. In that beat he covered a wide variety of labor stories, including coal mine disasters in West Virginia, factory life in South China, the 2008 U.S. financial crisis and the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler.

Langfitt traveled to China to cover the 2008 Summer Olympic Games for NPR. He was part of a team that won an Edward R. Murrow Award for sports reporting. Langfitt's print and visual journalism have also been honored by the Overseas Press Association and the White House News Photographers Association.

Africa is Langfitt’s second foreign posting. Prior to arriving at NPR in 2004, he spent five years as a correspondent for the Baltimore Sun in Beijing. In his time overseas, he covered the Hong Kong handover, the fall of Suharto in Indonesia and reported from Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam. In the early days of the Afghan War, Langfitt reported from Pakistan and Kashmir. In China, he also traveled on horseback with Tibetan nomads and spent six months documenting the government's demolition of an old Beijing neighborhood.

Lanfitt’s start in journalism began when he worked as a stringer for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Later he spent several years in Hazard, Kentucky, covering the state's coalfields for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Before becoming a journalist, Langfitt drove a taxi in Philadelphia and dug latrines in Mexico.

Langfitt is a graduate of Princeton and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. He now lives in a British, colonial-era bungalow in Nairobi with his wife, Julie, a veterinarian, and their two children, who think Africa is a blast.

 

Pages

1:07pm

Fri August 19, 2011
Asia

In Japan, Restoring Photos For Tsunami Victims

Becci Manson has spent the past few months on Japan's northeast coast restoring photos damaged by the tsunami.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Each week, tsunami survivors gather at temporary housing centers in the city of Yamada along Japan's northeast coast. They sing songs to cheer themselves up and comb through salvaged photos.

One morning, Miyoko Fukushi finds an old picture from the opening day of her daughter's elementary school. It's a formal shot of the students' mothers, wearing kimonos with their hands in their laps. Fukushi, 77, points to a younger version of herself.

"I was chubbier when I was young," she says with a laugh.

Read more

4:48am

Mon August 8, 2011
Asia

Japan Rethinks Its Relationship With The Atom

Over the weekend, Japan commemorated the 66th anniversary of the American bombing of Hiroshima. Some used the event to protest nuclear energy. This spring's massive earthquake caused a meltdown at a nuclear plant north of Tokyo. The recent disaster has many Japanese re-thinking their nation's relationship with nuclear energy.

7:07am

Sun August 7, 2011
World

Nuclear Power Criticized On Hiroshima Anniversary

Saturday, Japan commemorated the 66th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima, but the ceremony was different this year.

In March, a massive earthquake triggered a meltdown at the Japanese nuclear plant in Fukushima. The plant continues to leak radiation in the worst atomic accident since Chernobyl. Saturday's ceremony focused on the nuclear attack on Japan in 1945, but the country's ongoing nuclear disaster loomed large.

Read more

12:01am

Tue June 21, 2011
China: Beyond Borders

Will Kenyan Superhighway Also Benefit China?

Originally published on Mon June 20, 2011 10:01 pm

Three Chinese companies are building a massive superhighway in Kenya linking Nairobi with the city of Thika. The road, as wide as 16 lanes, is the biggest of its kind in East Africa.
Frank Langfitt NPR

This month, NPR is examining the many ways China is expanding its reach in the world — through investment, infrastructure, military power and more.

Chinese companies are scouring Africa for resources to fuel a red-hot economy back home, but Beijing is interested in more than just what's underground.

Read more

10:57am

Thu June 16, 2011
Africa

South Sudan Battles Poaching In Quest For Tourism

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:44 am

A radio-tracking collar worn by a tiang was cut off by hunters after the animal was shot. Conservationists track wildlife in South Sudan to help the government devise anti-poaching strategies after decades of devastating civil war.
Frank Langfitt NPR

When people think of Sudan, they think burning villages, civil war. Wildlife tourism? Not really. But South Sudan wants to change that.

Next month, it will secede and become the world's newest nation, and officials there want people to come see the animals.

It turns out many antelopes, elephants and even some giraffes survived the civil war between the north and the south. Now, South Sudan is trying to protect them and build a tourism business — from scratch.

Poaching Prevention

Read more

Pages