Doualy Xaykaothao

Doualy Xaykaothao covers breaking news from Asia for NPR News. She's based in Bangkok, Thailand, and her reports can be heard across all NPR News programs.

Xaykaothao joined NPR in 1999 as a production assistant for Morning Edition and has since worked as an NPR producer, editor, director and reporter for NPR's award-winning programs. As a producer for NPR's Newscast Unit, she was a member of the team receiving the 2001 Peabody Award for its coverage of the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Xaykaothao began reporting about anti-war protests from Seoul, South Korea. A year later, Xaykaothao was in the Phang Nga region of Thailand reporting on the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. In 2006, Xaykaothao served as a fellow for the International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS with a focus on women inside Nepal's 10 year civil war. Xaykaothao was also an Annenberg Fellow for NPR member station KPCC in Los Angeles in 2007, and was part of the reporting team to receive a LA Press Club Award for breaking coverage of the California wildfires. By 2009, Xaykaothao was in Indonesia reporting on the earthquake that devastated Padang. In 2010, she reported about North Korea's deadly attack on a South Korean warship. When Japan was struck by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, Xaykaothao was the first NPR reporter to reach Fukushima to report on the triple disasters in 2011.

Xaykaothao is Lao-Hmong American. She was born in Vientiane, Laos, but raised in France and the United States. She attended college in upstate New York, where she specialized in television, radio, political science, and ethnic studies. Her radio career began at Harlem community radio station WHCR 90.3 FM, where she volunteered as news-reader. Later, at Pacifica Radio's WBAI 99.5 FM, she worked for the station's resident film critic, the late Paul Wunder. At Pacifica, she also coordinated and produced Asia Pacific Forum, a program on politics, culture and arts inside Asian American communities, as well as missed stories from Asia.

For those who are curious, Doualy Xaykaothao is pronounced "dwah-hlee sigh-kow-tao."

Around the Nation
4:37 am
Mon May 26, 2014

World War II Vets Honor Their Own In Cactus Division

Crowds gather around the lead tank of the 1st Battalion 400th Infantry task force, and 103rd Cactus Division, after soldiers entered without resistance in Innsbruck, Austria, on May 19, 1945.
Jim Pringle AP

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 2:04 pm

When Kansas native Torrence Riggs was only 24, his Army division, the 103rd infantry, entered southwest Germany.

"I seen a lot of soldier boys with grim faces, I'll tell you that," he says. "I had one, too."

It was 1945, and the people in Germany's Dachau concentration camp had either been worked or starved to death.

Read more
The Salt
12:58 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Cuisine And Culture Transform A Dallas Neighborhood

Trinity Groves, a sprawling food incubator in West Dallas, has attracted diverse chefs and huge crowds.
Rebecca Combs Courtesy of Trinity Groves

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 4:18 pm

Can food revitalize an ailing neighborhood? In Dallas, global flavors seem to be playing a pretty big part in one area's transformation.

For decades, West Dallas was a ramshackle place: a Superfund site with a cement plant, some crime-ridden warehouses and a modest Latino neighborhood known as La Bajada across a potholed two-lane bridge from the glittery downtown.

Read more
Books
5:03 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Get Cracking On That Novel — NaNoWriMo Is Almost Over!

National Novel Writing Month — or NaNoWriMo — ends November 30th, and writers around the world are scrambling to meet the 50,000 word goal.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:05 am

The deadline is looming for "wrimos" — writers challenged to clock in a 50,000 word novel by November 30th.

"We're the largest writing event in the world," says Grant Faulkner, executive director of the Berkeley-based non-profit NaNoWriMo — short for National Novel Writing Month. "People's to-do list revolves around food and shelter, but I would say that creativity is a necessity of life, so we need to do what we can to nurture more creators in the world."

Read more
Music
4:58 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Run River North Stays The Course — And Finds Success

John Chong (from left), Sally Kang, Joe Chun, Alex Hwang, Jennifer Rim and Daniel Chae of Run River North.
Doualy Xaykaothao

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 2:36 pm

Run River North is a band that's gotten a few more breaks than most on its level. Last year, the Los Angeles-based Korean-American musicians produced a music video from inside their Hondas. The video went viral — and straight to the carmaker. The company rewarded the group with a surprise performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Cambodian Americans Celebrate New Year, But Honor Grim History

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Today in Long Beach, California, Cambodian-Americans are celebrating their new year with traditional foods, dance and songs. But the festivities also coincide with the anniversary of the Cambodian genocide. During the Khmer Rouge's reign of terror between 1975 and 1979, cities were emptied and nearly one-fourth of the population was executed, starved or worked to death. Doualy Xaykaothao reports.

Read more
Asia
2:34 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Along Korea's DMZ, No Sign That Tensions Are Easing

With a new leader in North Korea, the U.S. and South Korea are watching for clues of his policies. But so far tensions have not eased along the demilitarized zone. Here, two North Korean soldiers look across at a South Korean soldier on Dec. 2.
Lee Jae-Won Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 3:35 pm

Cold winds blow through pine trees and across nearby mountains. On the horizon are guard posts and cameras. There's little movement, except for wildlife.

U.S. Lt. Col. Ed Taylor, lives and works on the Korean armistice line that has divided North and South for almost six decades. He even sleeps in a bed right next to North Korea.

"I cannot compare it to anything I've ever done. And I say that with 23 years in the Army and two deployments to Iraq," Taylor says.

Read more
NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat March 10, 2012

Boats Ashore, Tsunami Scars Japanese Fishing Town

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 11:49 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. One year ago this weekend, Japan was battered by a devastating earthquake and tsunami. One of the places hardest hit was the coastal community of Yuriage. What was once a beautiful fishing village, and home to a bustling community of thousands, is now a desolate and deserted place. Doualy Xaykaothao reported from there shortly after the earthquake, and has just returned to file this report.

(SOUNDBITE OF SEAGULLS)

Read more
Rebuilding Japan
1:41 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

For Kids In Japan, Adjusting To A Changed World

Students at Tohoku Chosen, an elementary and junior high school for North Koreans in Sendai City, now take dance classes in the school's cafeteria because their main building was destroyed when the earthquake struck northeast Japan last March.
Doualy Xaykaothao NPR

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 8:22 pm

Teacher Dave Rowlands is talking to his students in a kindergarten class at Imagine Japan, an English-language school in the Miyagi Prefecture of Sendai City. The school is just a short walk from pre-fabricated homes built for families who lost more than just property in the earthquake and tsunami last year.

"What came after the earthquake, was what?" Rowlands asks. "A tidal wave. In Japanese, what do we say? Or in English, actually, tsunami is now used around the world in many languages. Tsunami. We kind of leave the 't' off of there."

Read more
Japan In Crisis
10:01 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

With Radiation, Doubt Grows In Fukushima Farms

A woman picks carrots on her farm as she explains her fears that no one will buy them since the radiation fallout in March 2011 in Fukushima, Japan. A year later, challenges persist for farmers in the region.
Wally Santana AP

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 2:00 pm

The mountain village of Kawauchi lies partly inside the area deemed unsafe because of high levels of radiation in Japan's Fukushima prefecture. Chiharu Kubota uses a high-pressure water gun to hose down buildings there.

Radiation is still leaking from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, which suffered multiple meltdowns immediately after last year's earthquake and tsunami.

'Nothing Is Better'

Read more
World
1:00 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Many South Koreans Seem Apathetic About The North

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 7:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

South Korea's president delivered this message yesterday to North Korea: It will respond strongly to any provocations under North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un. However, in a televised speech, Lee Myung-bak also promised that North-South relations could improve if Pyongyang halts its nuclear weapons program.

Reporter Doualy Xaykaothao recently hit the streets of Seoul, to find out what South Koreans think of the power shift in the north. And for many the answer is simple: They don't care.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Read more