Nina Totenberg - MPSF Speaker Series

Well known legal affairs and SCOTUS expert, considered the “crème de la crème” of NPR, shares insight on the latest hotly contested cases in front of the Supreme Court.
February 3 - 6, 2020

Nina Totenberg

Nina Totenberg

Nina Totenberg shines a light on the inner workings of our nation’s highest court and helps audiences understand the impact of headline-making judicial cases on America’s future.

One of the country’s most respected journalists and a doyenne of the Supreme Court, Nina is National Public Radio’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent. With more than 40 years experience at NPR, her reports are regularly featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition. 

In 1991, her ground-breaking report about University of Oklahoma Law Professor Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment by Judge Clarence Thomas led the Senate Judiciary Committee to re-open Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings to consider Hill’s charges. 

That same coverage earned Totenberg additional awards, among them: the Long Island University George Polk Award for excellence in journalism; the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting; the Carr Van Anda Award from the Scripps School of Journalism; and the prestigious Joan S. Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based national affairs/public policy reporting, which also acknowledged her coverage of Justice Thurgood Marshall’s retirement.

Totenberg was named Broadcaster of the Year and honored with the 1998 Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcasting from the National Press Foundation and was the first radio journalist to receive the award. She is also the recipient of the American Judicature Society’s first-ever award honoring a career body of work in the field of journalism and the law. In 1988, Totenberg won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for her coverage of Supreme Court nominations. The jurors of the award stated, “Ms. Totenberg broke the story of Judge (Douglas) Ginsburg’s use of marijuana, raising issues of changing social values and credibility with careful perspective under deadline pressure.”

Totenberg has been honored seven times by the American Bar Association for continued excellence in legal reporting and has received a number of honorary degrees. On a lighter note, in 1992 and 1988 Esquire magazine named her one of the “Women We Love”.

A frequent contributor to major newspapers and periodicals, she has published articles in The New York Times MagazineThe Harvard Law ReviewThe Christian Science MonitorParade MagazineNew York Magazine, and others.

Before joining NPR in 1975, Totenberg served as Washington editor of New Times Magazine, and before that she was the legal affairs correspondent for the National Observer.

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