image showing Nina Totenberg, a woman with short brown hair wearing a turquoise sweater, and the Goldsmith Awards logo and date of April 3, 2024

Nina Totenberg to be honored with the 2024 Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism

Each year, the Shorenstein Center presents the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism to recognize outstanding contributions to the field and honor work that has enriched our political discourse and our society. This year’s winner is Nina Totenberg, whose trailblazing career covering the U.S. Supreme Court has surpassed that of the longest-serving Justices in the Court’s history. Regarded as one of the “Founding Mothers” of NPR, Totenberg’s decades of award-winning reporting have cemented her status as the country’s preeminent legal reporter.

“Nina’s insightful coverage of arguably the most insular branch of government is unparalleled” said Shorenstein Center Director Nancy Gibbs. “Her expertise and thought-provoking reports are invaluable, particularly now with public trust in the nation’s highest court at near record lows.”

Totenberg will share her insights in a “fireside chat” with Gibbs at this year’s Goldsmith Awards ceremony, to be held on April 3, 2024 in the JFK Jr. Forum at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The in-person event will be livestreamed at and

2024 Goldsmith Career Award winner Nina Totenberg:

Nina Totenberg is NPR’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR’s critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition. Totenberg’s coverage of the Supreme Court and legal affairs has won her widespread recognition. She is often featured in documentaries — most recently RBG — that deal with issues before the court. As Newsweek put it, “The mainstays [of NPR] are Morning Edition and All Things Considered. But the creme de la creme is Nina Totenberg.”

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. NPR received the prestigious George Foster 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, including 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. She is 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.

Totenberg has been honored seven times by the American Bar Association for continued excellence in legal reporting and has received more than two dozen honorary degrees. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships.


The Goldsmith Awards, founded in 1991 and funded by a gift from the Greenfield Foundation, strives to foster a more insightful and spirited public debate about government, politics and the press, and to demonstrate the essential role of a free press in a thriving democracy.

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