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

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Tovia Smith at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)
Allison Shelley/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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Jeremy Richman's 6-year-old daughter, Avielle, was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. After her death, he worked to support neuroscience research on harmful behavior. Jessica Hill/AP hide caption

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Jessica Hill/AP

Students at UCLA and elsewhere are not surprised at the admissions cheating scandal rocking the higher education world. They are more frustrated, and cynical. UCLA was one of the institutions caught up in the scam. Megan Schellong/NPR hide caption

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Megan Schellong/NPR

College Students See Nothing New In Admissions Scandal

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Litigation Is Likely For New Title IX Guidelines

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The Women's March in Kern County, Calif. was one of many around the nation where postcards were distributed, encouraging people to submit comments opposing Secretary DeVos' plan to change Title IX regulations . Courtesy Kimberly Kirchmer hide caption

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Courtesy Kimberly Kirchmer

Trump Administration Gets An Earful On New Campus Sexual Assault Rules

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Etchings on the federal courthouse in Boston acclaim a well-administered justice system, but many working in the building say that is getting harder, given the continuing federal shutdown. Tovia Smith/NPR hide caption

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Tovia Smith/NPR

'Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied' As Government Shutdown Affects Federal Courts

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People gather items for a pop-up food pantry opened in Boston for men and women of the Coast Guard, the only branch of the armed services working without pay. Charles Field/MMSFI hide caption

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Charles Field/MMSFI

'Tidal Wave': Hundreds Of Coast Guard Families Show Up To Pop-Up Boston Food Pantry

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Thousands Of Workers Must Figure Out How They'll Pay Monthly Bills Without A Paycheck

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The Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit group formed after the 2012 Connecticut shooting, is training students to spot warning signs in other would–be shooters and to anonymously report concerns through a mobile app. Courtesy Sandy Hook Promise hide caption

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Courtesy Sandy Hook Promise

'It's Preventable': Sandy Hook Parents Promote App For Reporting School Threats

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Education Department Announces New Rules For Sexual Assault Cases On College Campuses

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks with the media after a series of listening sessions about campus sexual violence in July 2017. Among the significant changes is that schools can make it harder to prove allegations. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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Alex Brandon/AP

Education Dept. Proposes Enhanced Protection For Students Accused Of Sexual Assault

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A Year Later, Americans Are Deeply Divided Over The #MeToo Movement

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On #MeToo, Americans More Divided By Party Than Gender

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News Brief: Trump Visits Pittsburgh, Americans Divided On #MeToo, Pakistan Blasphemy Case

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