Tovia Smith 2010 i
Doby Photography /NPR
Tovia Smith 2010
Doby Photography /NPR

Tovia Smith

Correspondent, National Desk, Boston

Tovia Smith is an award-winning NPR News National Desk correspondent based in Boston.

For the last 25 years, Smith has been covering news around New England and beyond. She's reported extensively on the debate over gay marriage in Massachusetts and the sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church, including breaking the news of the Pope's secret meeting with survivors.

Smith has traveled to New Hampshire to report on seven consecutive Primary elections, to the Gulf Coast after the BP oil spill, and to Ground Zero in New York City after the September 11, 2001 attacks. She covered landmark court cases — from the trials of British au pair Louise Woodward, and abortion clinic gunman John Salvi, to the proceedings against shoe bomber Richard Reid.

Through the years, Smith has brought to air the distinct voices of Boston area residents, whether reacting to the capture of reputed Mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, or mourning the death of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy.

In all of her reporting, Smith aims to tell personal stories that evoke the emotion and issues of the day. She has filed countless stories on legal, social, and political controversies from the biggies like abortion to smaller-scale disputes over whether to require students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in classrooms.

With reporting that always push past the polemics, Smith advances the debate with more thoughtful, and thought-provoking, nuanced arguments from both –or all— sides. She has produced award-winning broadcasts on everything from race relations in Boston, adoption and juvenile crime, and has filed several documentary-length reports, including an award-winning half-hour special on modern-day orphanages.

Smith took a leave of absence from NPR in 1998, to launch Here and Now, a daily news magazine produced by NPR Member Station WBUR in Boston. As co-host of the program, she conducted live daily interviews on issues ranging from the impeachment of President Bill Clinton to allegations of sexual abuse in Massachusetts prisons, as well as regular features on cooking and movies.

In 1996, Smith worked as a radio consultant and journalism instructor in Africa. She spent several months teaching and reporting in Ethiopia, Guinea, and Tunisia. Smith filed her first on-air stories as a reporter for local affiliate WBUR in Boston in 1987.

Throughout her career, Smith has won more than two dozen national journalism awards including the Casey Medal, the Unity Award, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award Honorable Mention, Ohio State Award, Radio and Television News Directors Association Award, and numerous honors from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Radio News Directors Association, and the Associated Press.

She is a graduate of Tufts University, with a degree in international relations.

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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds the game ball after a playoff game against the Ravens in January 2015. A week later, the team would be accused of deliberately deflating footballs in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. Elise Amendola/AP hide caption

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Fans Want Patriots' Draft Pick Restored And Sue NFL To Make It Happen
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Child brides are often associated with developing countries, but thousands of cases actually occur in the United States. A few states are pushing for laws to ban underage marriage. Eastnine Inc./ZZVE Illustrations/Getty Images hide caption

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Who Decides If You're Too Young To Marry?
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Nate Swain poses for a photo by his artwork. Tovia Smith/NPR hide caption

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Unraveled: The Mystery Of The Secret Street Artist In Boston
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People wait in line in Allston, Mass., on March 13 for an open casting call for Patriots Day, a feature film about the Boston Marathon bombing. Jessica Rinaldi/Boston Globe via Getty Images hide caption

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Filming For Marathon Bombing Movie Stirs Emotions In Boston
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For Sexual Assault Victims, An Effort To Loosen Statutes Of Limitations
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As colleges have been cracking down on campus sexual assault, some students have been complaining that schools are going too far and trampling the rights of the accused in the process. Alberto Ruggieri/Illustration Works/Getty Images hide caption

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For Students Accused Of Campus Rape, Legal Victories Win Back Rights
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Massive Survey Confirms Prevalence Of Sexual Assault On Campus
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Rutgers Survey Underscores Challenges Collecting Sexual Assault Data
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Schools are sifting through a flood of new products and programs geared toward raising awareness and lower risk for sexual assaults on campus. Mary McLain/NPR hide caption

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Curbing Sexual Assault Becomes Big Business On Campus
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Campuses Consider Following New York's Lead On 'Yes Means Yes' Policy
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Carlos McKnight waves a flag in support of same-sex marriage outside the Supreme Court. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

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After Supreme Court Decision, What's Next For Gay Rights Groups?
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Family Of Suspected Terrorist Killed By Boston Police Call For Investigation
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Tsarnaev Friend Sentenced To 6 Years In Prison For Disposing Of Evidence
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Sister Helen Prejean Says Dzhokhar Tsarnaev 'Genuinely Sorry'
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