Frank Langfitt is NPR's London correspondent. He covers the UK and Ireland, as well as stories elsewhere in Europe.
Langfitt arrived in London in June, 2016. A week later, the UK voted for Brexit. He's been busy ever since, covering the political battles over just how the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. Langfitt also frequently appears on the BBC, where he tries to explain American politics, which is not easy.
Previously, Langfitt spent five years as an NPR correspondent covering China. Based in Shanghai, he drove a free taxi around the city for a series on a changing China as seen through the eyes of ordinary people. As part of the series, Langfitt drove passengers back to the countryside for Chinese New Year and served as a wedding chauffeur. He has expanded his reporting into a book, The Shanghai Free Taxi: Journeys with the Hustlers and Rebels of the New China (Public Affairs, Hachette), which is out in June 2019.
While in China, Langfitt also reported on the government's infamous black jails — secret detention centers — as well as his own travails taking China's driver's test, which he failed three times.
Before moving to Shanghai, Langfitt was NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi. He reported from Sudan, covered the civil war in Somalia, and interviewed imprisoned Somali pirates, who insisted they were just misunderstood fishermen. During the Arab Spring, Langfitt covered the uprising and crushing of the reform movement in Bahrain.
Prior to Africa, Langfitt was NPR's labor correspondent based in Washington, DC. He covered the 2008 financial crisis, the bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler, and coal mine disasters in West Virginia.
In 2008, Langfitt also covered the Beijing Olympics as a member of NPR's team, which 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.
Before coming to NPR, Langfitt spent five years as a correspondent in Beijing for The Baltimore Sun, covering a swath of Asia from East Timor to the Khyber Pass.
Langfitt spent his early years in journalism stringing for the Philadelphia Inquirer and living in Hazard, Kentucky, where he covered the state's Appalachian coalfields for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Prior to becoming a reporter, Langfitt dug latrines in Mexico and drove a taxi in his hometown of Philadelphia. Langfitt is a graduate of Princeton and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard.
More than 80 percent of high school students in Shanghai are myopic. A new study finds a link between higher income and poor eyesight. But the root cause is still hotly debated.