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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.
Ed Ward is the rock-and-roll historian on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
A co-author of Rock of Ages: The Rolling Stone History of Rock & Roll, Ward has also contributed to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and countless music magazines.
Ward lives in Montpellier, France. He blogs at Ward in France.
Ari Shapiro has been NPR's White House Correspondent since 2010. His stories appear on all of NPR's newsmagazines, including All Things Considered and Morning Edition, where he is also a frequent guest host.
Shapiro began reporting on the White House after five years as NPR's Justice Correspondent, covering national security and counterterrorism during one of the most tumultuous periods in the Justice Department's history.
He spent 2012 on the campaign trail, leading NPR's coverage of Mitt Romney during the primary and general election. He also travels widely overseas in his reporting, including visits to Afghanistan with President Obama and to Iraq with Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
The first NPR reporter to be promoted to correspondent before age 30, Shapiro has been recognized with several journalism prizes, including The American Bar Association's Silver Gavel for his coverage of prisoners lost in Louisiana's detention system after Hurricane Katrina; The Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize for his investigation of methamphetamine use and HIV transmission; the Columbia Journalism Review's "laurel" recognition of his investigation into disability benefits for injured veterans; and the American Judges' Association's American Gavel for a body of work reporting on courts and the justice system. He regularly appears as a guest analyst on CNN, PBS, NBC, and other TV news outlets.
Before covering the Justice Department, Shapiro worked as a public radio reporter in Atlanta, Miami, and Boston.
Shapiro moonlights as a guest singer with the "little orchestra" Pink Martini, based in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Since he debuted with them at the Hollywood Bowl in 2009, he has performed with the band at many of the world's most storied venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York, L'Olympia in Paris, and Mount Lycabettus in Athens. He has recorded songs on three of Pink Martini's albums, in five languages.
Shapiro is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale. He began his journalism career in 2001 in the office of NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg. Shapiro was born in Fargo, North Dakota, and grew up in Portland, Oregon.
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Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! is NPR's weekly hour-long quiz program. Each week on the radio you can test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what's real news and what's made up. On the Web, you can play along too.
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Thoughtful and lively conversations on an array of topics with many of the most distinguished people of our times. Tune in for a lively mix of current events and public affairs programming that ranges from hard news analysis of politics and international affairs to in-depth examinations of religious issues, health and medical news, education and parenting.
The Takeaway is the national morning news program that delivers the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what's ahead. Host John Hockenberry, along with the BBC World Service, The New York Times and WGBH Boston, invites listeners every morning to learn more and be part of the American conversation on-air and online.