Nina Totenberg
Steve Barrett/NPR
Nina Totenberg
Steve Barrett/NPR

Nina Totenberg

Correspondent, Legal Affairs

Nina Totenberg is NPR's award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR's critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.

Totenberg's coverage of the Supreme Court and legal affairs has won her widespread recognition. Newsweek says, "The mainstays [of NPR] are Morning Edition and All Things Considered. But the creme de la creme is Nina Totenberg."

In 1991, her ground-breaking report about University of Oklahoma Law Professor Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment by Judge Clarence Thomas led the Senate Judiciary Committee to re-open Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation hearings to consider Hill's charges. NPR received the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for its gavel-to-gavel coverage — anchored by Totenberg — of both the original hearings and the inquiry into Anita Hill's allegations, and for Totenberg's reports and exclusive interview with Hill.

That same coverage earned Totenberg additional awards, among them: the Long Island University George Polk Award for excellence in journalism; the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting; the Carr Van Anda Award from the Scripps School of Journalism; and the prestigious Joan S. Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based national affairs/public policy reporting, which also acknowledged her coverage of Justice Thurgood Marshall's retirement.

Totenberg was named Broadcaster of the Year and honored with the 1998 Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcasting from the National Press Foundation. She is the first radio journalist to receive the award. She is also the recipient of the American Judicature Society's first-ever award honoring a career body of work in the field of journalism and the law. In 1988, Totenberg won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for her coverage of Supreme Court nominations. The jurors of the award stated, "Ms. Totenberg broke the story of Judge (Douglas) Ginsburg's use of marijuana, raising issues of changing social values and credibility with careful perspective under deadline pressure."

Totenberg has been honored seven times by the American Bar Association for continued excellence in legal reporting and has received a number of honorary degrees. On a lighter note, in 1992 and 1988 Esquire magazine named her one of the "Women We Love".

A frequent contributor to major newspapers and periodicals, she has published articles in The New York Times Magazine, The Harvard Law Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Parade Magazine, New York Magazine, and others.

Before joining NPR in 1975, Totenberg served as Washington editor of New Times Magazine, and before that she was the legal affairs correspondent for the National Observer.

[+] read more[-] less

Purchase Featured Book

The Complete Transcripts of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill Hearings: October 11, 12, 13, 1991

Purchase Book

Buy Featured Book

Title
The Complete Transcripts of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill Hearings: October 11, 12, 13, 1991
Author
Nina Totenberg (Introduction) , Anita Miller (Editor)

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Divided Supreme Court Refuses To Reinstate North Carolina Voter ID Law

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/492151529/492151530" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

An election official checks a voter's photo identification at an early voting polling site in Austin, Texas. Eric Gay/AP hide caption

toggle caption Eric Gay/AP

Stricter Voter ID And Other Voting Laws Rolled Back In Slew Of Court Decisions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/488748072/488793478" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine does a walk on the Democratic National Convention stage ahead of his prime time speech on Wednesday night. Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

How Tim Kaine Went From City Council To Vice Presidential Candidate

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487665600/487665601" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Pence and his wife, Karen, leave a meeting with Trump in New York on Friday. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

toggle caption Evan Vucci/AP

Meet Mike Pence, 'Midwestern Polite' With An Unrelenting Conservative Message

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/486681928/486785281" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg Apologizes For Trump Comments

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/486130165/486130166" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Apologizes Over Recent Remarks About Donald Trump

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/486086348/486098668" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Apologizes For Trump Comments

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/486037765/486037842" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Donald Trump Calls On Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg To Resign

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/485895821/485895822" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Supreme Court Concludes Session With Decision On Texas Abortion Law

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483890282/483890283" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Supreme Court Wraps Up Term With Far-Reaching Decision On Abortion

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483811500/483811501" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Supreme Court Finds Texas Law On Abortion Providers Unconstitutional

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483715638/483717306" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Elizabeth Warren speaks at the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 5, 2012, in Charlotte, N.C. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: From Professor To Pugilist

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483123804/483665276" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript