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

For 22 Years, Boston Arena Broke Promise To Hold 3 Fundraisers A Year

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Jewish Leaders Say Anti-Semitism Around The Nation Is A Disturbing Trend

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New signs in Boston encourage bystanders to intervene if they see Muslims being harassed. Tovia Smith/NPR hide caption

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New Campaign Teaches How To Help When A Muslim Is Harassed

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"Restorative justice" is gaining popularity as a way to handle campus sexual assault cases. The approach is a therapeutic intervention aimed at healing, rather than a trial to decide guilt and punishment. Stuart Kinlough/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

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After Assault, Some Campuses Focus On Healing Over Punishment

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Richard Spencer, a white nationalist who claims to have coined the term "alt-right," speaks at the Texas A&M University campus in Dec. 2016. The number of campus visits made by white nationalist leaders like Spencer looking to connect with students personally has increased. David J. Phillip/AP hide caption

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As White Supremacists Push Onto Campuses, Schools Wrestle With Response

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Rob Jones, a training consultant with the Anti-Defamation League, leads Brookline High School students in building a "web of unity." Tovia Smith /NPR hide caption

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Fighting Hate In Schools

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White House Pressures Municipalities To Crack Down On Immigration Enforcement

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Late Season Snowstorm Clobbers Northeast

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Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department K-9 officers search the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada after an employee received a suspicious phone call that led about 10 people to evacuate the building on Feb. 27. Jewish institutions across the nation have received more than 120 bomb threats in the past two months Ethan Miller/Getty Images hide caption

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DHS To Help Jewish Community Centers Enhance Security Protocols

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Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Strovink, of Massachusetts Attorney General Healey's Civil Rights Division, answers calls coming into the state's hate hotline. Tovia Smith/NPR hide caption

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Massachusetts Hotline Tracks Post-Election Hate

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Data from Match.com shows that singles are more likely now to shun those who don't share their political preference. dane_mark/iStock hide caption

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When Dating In The Era Of Divisive Politics, Both Sides Stick To Themselves

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Universities Grapple With Trump's Executive Order On Immigration

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Can Sobriety Tests Weed Out Drivers Who've Smoked Too Much Weed?

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Activists Fear Reversal Of Strict Rules On Campus Sexual Assault

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