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Martin Kaste

Martin Kaste

Martin Kaste is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. He covers law enforcement and privacy. He has been focused on police and use of force since before the 2014 protests in Ferguson, and that coverage led to the creation of NPR's Criminal Justice Collaborative.

In addition to criminal justice reporting, Kaste has contributed to NPR News coverage of major world events, including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 uprising in Libya.

Kaste has reported on the government's warrant-less wiretapping practices as well as the data collection and analysis that go on behind the scenes in social media and other new media. His privacy reporting was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 United States v. Jones ruling concerning GPS tracking.

Before moving to the West Coast, Kaste spent five years as NPR's reporter in South America. He covered the drug wars in Colombia, the financial meltdown in Argentina, the rise of Brazilian president Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and the fall of Haiti's president Jean Bertrand Aristide. Throughout this assignment, Kaste covered the overthrow of five presidents in five years.

Prior to joining NPR in 2000, Kaste was a political reporter for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul for seven years.

Kaste is a graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.

  • Every Sunday at Seattle's Cafe Racer, musicians gather for a session of experimental music. But after four people were killed last Wednesday at the coffeehouse and bar, this week's jam session took place in a different venue — the alley out back — with a very different tone.
  • As officials prepare charges against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales for his alleged killing spree in Afghanistan, concerns are growing about mental health screening for soldiers. The Army says it wants to help those with PTSD and other conditions, but the screening process has been described as an "assembly line," and soldiers who want psychological help have good reasons not to seek it out.
  • There is still only sketchy information available about Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' recent experience in Afghanistan, but five years ago in Iraq, he was considered an excellent and upbeat soldier. Bales is suspected of killing 16 unarmed Afghan civilians.
  • The former Massachusetts governor pulled ahead of his rivals in Saturday's presidential straw poll, gaining more momentum just before Super Tuesday. Ron Paul, who edged Rick Santorum for second place, insisted he, too, had reason to celebrate.
  • Mandatory DNA collection is fast becoming routine in the American criminal justice system, with federal law enforcement and 26 states permitting various forms of pre-conviction DNA sampling. Now, lawmakers in Washington are trying to follow suit.