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Tom Gjelten: NPR's Longtime Reporter Discusses Foreign Conflict, Religion, Politics and Maine

Wanyu Zhang/ NPR

NPR’s Tom Gjelten joins us in studio to discuss his current beat - religion, faith, and belief. His reporting draws on his many years covering national and international news from posts in Washington and around the world.  We’ll also touch on his time as one of NPR's pioneer foreign correspondents, posted first in Latin America and then in Central Europe. And we’ll talk about his earlier connections to Maine, including as a public school teacher in North Haven.

Gjelten reports on religion, faith, and belief for NPR News, a beat that encompasses such areas as the changing religious landscape in America, the formation of personal identity, the role of religion in politics, and conflict arising from religious differences. He is the author of Sarajevo Daily: A City and Its Newspaper Under Siege; Professionalism in War Reporting: A Correspondent's View; and, Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause.  His latest book, A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story.


Jonathan was born in Monsey, New York. A field trip to Washington, DC when he was in 7th grade started him on his circuitous path to a career in public radio. The trip inspired a love of politics and led to his desire to one day call DC home. After graduating from Grinnell College, he worked on a couple of campaigns in Iowa (presidential and congressional) and moved to Washington, DC.