Robert Block

Robert Block is the award-winning Space Editor and NASA correspondent for the Orlando Sentinel, based at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fl., writing and organizing stories and projects, as well as running the paper’s successful online blog about space, The Write Stuff. Prior to joining the Sentinel in October 2007, Block was Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism Correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, based in Washington D.C. He took the job covering the new department and post-9/11 polices in 2003 after a long career as a foreign correspondent. Block’s work overseas spanned 21 years, during which he covered war, politics, life and business in Central and South America, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Egypt and North Africa, Central Asia as well as Western and Central Europe. His reporting on NASA and Florida’ space policy earned two consecutive annual SPJ Sunshine State Awards for Government Reporting. His work in former Yugoslavia earned an Amnesty International Press Award and British Media Award. His coverage of war and peace-keeping in the Democratic Republic Congo won the U.N.’s Elizabeth Neufer Award. He also contributed to the Wall Street Journal’s 9/11 coverage which earned the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News. Block is co-Author of “Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security,” an award-winning Washington Post Book of the Year. Career:  From 1982 to 1990, Block worked for Reuters, first as Mexico Correspondent, then as El Salvador Bureau Chief, and later as a Global Reporter.  In 1990, he became Assistant Foreign Editor for The Independent in London. In 1992, he was named the paper's Chief Foreign Correspondent. He became the Africa Correspondent for the Independent in 1995 and soon after joined the London Sunday Times.  From 1993 to 1996, Block was a contributor to New York Review of Books.  Block joined The Wall Street Journal in April 1997 as Africa Correspondent. In 2003, he moved to Washington to cover the Department of Homeland Security for the WSJ.  Co-author of the award-winning book Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security, published by Times Books in August 2006.  Since October of 2007, Block has been Space Editor for The Orlando Sentinel. Awards and Honors: 2010 - Society of Professional Journalists “Sunshine State Award” for Government Reporting (First Place), for an investigative series on corruption and waste at Space Florida, the state aerospace development agency; 2009 - Society of Professional Journalists “Sunshine State Award” for Government Reporting (First Place) for stories on NASA and America’s troubled space program; 2009 - Orlando Sentinel Beat Reporter of the Year; 2008 - Orlando Sentinel Beat Reporter of the Year; Orlando Sentinel Enterprise Reporting and Storytelling awards; 2006 - Congressional Black Caucus “Brain Trust Award” for the book “Disaster;” 2006 - New Jersey Deputy Fire Chiefs President’s Award for the book “Disaster;” 2005 - Society of Publishers in Asia, “Excellence in Reporting Award” for coverage of the Asian tsunami; 2004 -The United Nations Correspondents Association “Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Award” for a report on the woeful state of U.N. peace-keeping in the Democratic Republic of Congo; 2002 - Staff Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News on the terrorist attacks of 9-11; 1996 - Amnesty International Press Award for coverage of the fall of Srebrenica in Bosnia; 1996 - British Overseas Correspondents Association, Foreign Media Award for Yugoslav and Rwandan coverage. Block is fluent in Spanish, speaks passable Italian, French, Arabic and enough Swahili to get into trouble. He is nuts about family, guitars, motorcycles, Japanese swords, Bonsai trees and Labrador Retrievers. Everything else is work.

Broadcast 1387 (Special Edition)

Guest: Bobby Block. Topics: space journalism, space policy news, Florida Space Coast. We welcomed Bobby Block, Space Editor for the Orlando Sentinel to the show. We started our first segment which was one hour by asking Bobby about his transition to space journalism from his previous journalistic assignments at the Wall Street Journal, as a foreign correspondent, even covering various global hot spots. You will find his transition story interesting. Bobby offered us his opinion on Florida space policy and politics and some of the positions being articulated by Senator Nelson in the state.

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