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 National Correspondent based in Boston, who's spent more than three decades covering news around New England and beyond.

Most recently, she's reported extensively on the #MeToo movement and campus sexual assault. She's also covered breaking news from the Newtown school shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent trial, as well as the capture, trial and later death of Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger. She has provided extensive coverage of gay marriage, and the sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church, including breaking the news of the Pope's secret meeting with survivors.

Throughout the years, Smith has brought to air the distinct voices of Boston area residents, whether those demanding the ouster of Cardinal Bernard Law, or those mourning the death of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy. In her reporting on contentious issues like race relations, abortion, and juvenile crime, her reporting always pushes past the polemics, and advances the national conversation with more thoughtful, and thought-provoking, nuanced arguments from both — or all — sides.

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 Sept. 11 attacks. With an empathic ear and an eye for detail, she tells the human stories that evoke the emotion and issues of the day. She has gone behind the bars of a prison to interview female prisoners who keep their babies with them while incarcerated, she's gone behind closed doors to watch a college admissions committee decide whom to admit, and she's embedded in a local orphanage to tell the stories of the children living there. Smith has also chronicled such personal tales as a woman's battle against obesity and a family's struggle to survive the recession of 2008.

Throughout her career, Smith has won dozens of national journalism awards including a Gracie award, 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.

Smith took a leave of absence from NPR in 1998 to help create and launch Here and Now, a daily news magazine co-produced by NPR and 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 as varied as a round-up of emerging tech and a listener call-in for advice on workplace survival.

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. She filed her first stories as an intern and then reporter for local affiliate WBUR in Boston beginning in 1987.

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

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From Right: U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar at a press conference at the Capitol on Monday. President Trump has accused the "squad" of hating America and has said they should "go back" to where they came from. Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images hide caption

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'He Says Stupid Stuff': Amid Outrage, Trump Supporters Shrug Off Racist Language

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Former Stanford Sailing Coach Avoids Prison Time For College Admissions Scandal

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Former Stanford University sailing coach John Vandemoer was sentenced to two years of supervised release, with the first six months in home confinement, and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. Scott Eisen/Getty Images hide caption

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Former Stanford Coach Will Not Serve Prison Time For Admissions Scandal

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Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (right) tries to stop St. Louis Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final Sunday in St. Louis. The Bruins won, forcing a Game 7 on Wednesday. Scott Kane/AP hide caption

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Scott Kane/AP

From Drought To 'Title-Town': Why Boston Fans Remain Insatiable

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Boston Vies For 3rd Major Sports Title In A Year As Bruins Compete For Stanley Cup

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Felicity Huffman, center, departs federal court with her brother Moore Huffman Jr., left, Monday, May 13, 2019, in Boston, where she pleaded guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

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Felicity Huffman, In Tears, Pleads Guilty In College Bribery Scandal

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Actress Felicity Huffman Enters Guilty Plea For College Admissions Scandal

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President Trump holds up a Red Sox team jersey that was presented to him by outfielder J.D. Martinez Thursday at the White House. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Concern is growing about a burgeoning online market for essays that students can buy and turn in as their own work. And schools are trying new tools to catch it. Angela Hsieh/NPR hide caption

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Buying College Essays Is Now Easier Than Ever. But Buyer Beware

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How Students May Be Cheating Their Way Through College

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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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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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