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NPR’s Nina Totenberg Speaks to Capacity Crowd at R-MC

Mar 03, 2011

totenbergNational Public Radio’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg spoke before a capacity crowd at Blackwell Auditorium, Randolph-Macon’s Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, February 24, 2011. More than 600 people attended Totenberg's presentation, “The Supreme Court and Its Impact on You.”

Click on Nina Totenberg at R-MC to view a slideshow of photos from Totenberg's visit.

Totenberg’s presentation focused on the role of women on the Supreme Court. She highlighted Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s pioneering fight for gender equality before appointment to the high court. She also noted the accomplishments of Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and the changing face of the court with the additions of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Before the lecture, Totenberg spent time with R-MC students, who were given an opportunity to discuss the correspondent's work and her experience reporting on the Supreme Court. Totenberg was asked what impact the proposed federal budget cuts will have on NPR. Totenberg responded that she expects the biggest impact will be on the local affiliates that may go out of business without crucial federal and state funding.

This event was sponsored by the Watkins Lecture Series, which was established in 1999 by Marion Watkins Herget and Dr. George D. Watkins ’44 and is named in honor of their parents. The program has hosted a number of notable speakers including civil rights leader Julian Bond, journalists Bob Woodward and David Gergen and Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.

Nina Totenberg
Nina Totenberg’s reports air regularly on NPR's critically acclaimed newsmagazines, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.

Totenberg's coverage of legal affairs and the Supreme Court has won her widespread recognition. Newsweek says, "The mainstays [of NPR] are Morning Edition and All Things Considered. But the crème de la crème is Nina Totenberg." She is also a regular panelist on Inside Washington, a weekly syndicated public affairs television program produced in the nation's capital.

totenberg2In 1991, her groundbreaking 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. NPR received the prestigious Peabody Award for its gavel-to-gavel coverage—anchored by Totenberg—of both the original hearings and the inquiry into Anita Hill's allegations, and for Totenberg's reports and exclusive interview with Hill.

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; 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.

In 1988, Totenberg won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for her coverage of Supreme Court nominations. She has also been honored eight times by the American Bar Association for continued excellence in legal reporting, and has received a number of honorary degrees.

A frequent contributor to major newspapers and periodicals, she has published articles in the New York Times Magazine, the HarvarLaw Review, the Christian Science MonitorParade magazine, New York Magazine, and others. 
Totenberg has won every major journalism award in broadcasting, and is the only radio journalist to have won the National Press Foundation award for Broadcaster of the Year.

For more information about this event or other R-MC programs, please contact Anne Marie Lauranzon at (804) 752-7317, alauranz@rmc.edu.