Karen Grigsby Bates is the Los Angeles-based correspondent for NPR News. Bates contributed commentaries to All Things Considered for about 10 years before she joined NPR in 2002 as the first correspondent and alternate host for The Tavis Smiley Show. In addition to general reporting and substitute hosting, she increased the show's coverage of international issues and its cultural coverage, especially in the field of literature and the arts.
In early 2003, Bates joined NPR's former midday news program Day to Day. She has reported on politics (California's precedent-making gubernatorial recall, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's re-election campaign and the high-profile mayoral campaign of Los Angeles' Antonio Villaraigosa), media, and breaking news (the Abu Ghrarib scandal, the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia and the execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams).
Bates' passion for food and things culinary has served her well: she's spent time with award-winning food critic Alan Richman and chef-entrepreneur Emeril Lagasse.
One of Bates' proudest contributions is making books and authors a high-profile part of NPR's coverage. "NPR listeners read a lot, and many of them share the same passion for books that I do, so this isn't work, it's a pleasure." She's had conversations with such writers as Walter Mosley, Joan Didion and Kazuo Ishiguru. Her bi-annual book lists (which are archived on the web) are listener favorites.
Before coming to NPR, Bates was a news reporter for People magazine. She was a contributing columnist to the Op Ed pages of the Los Angeles Times for ten years. Her work has appeared in Time, The New York Times, the Washington Post, Essence and Vogue. And she's been a guest on several news shows such as ABC's Nightline and the CBS Evening News.
In her non-NPR life, Bates is the author of Plain Brown Wrapper and Chosen People, mysteries featuring reporter-sleuth Alex Powell. She is co-author, with Karen E. Hudson, of Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times, a best-selling etiquette book now in its second edition. Her work also appears in several writers' anthologies.
Bates holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College. Additionally she studied at the University of Ghana and completed the executive management program at Yale University's School of Organization and Management.
Graham Smith is a senior producer for NPR's All Things Considered.
Every day his responsibilities range from investigation and research, production, field recording, running the program, reporting, and photography.
Smith has worked all over the United States. Overseas Smith has worked in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he produced award-winning coverage of an IED attack and its aftermath in Kandahar.
After joining NPR in December 2002, Smith spent six years as supervising senior producer for NPR's All Things Considered. Before NPR, Smith was the senior producer and director on The Connection and Here and Now, programs produced by WBUR, an NPR Member Station in Boston. He served as director of the Christian Science Monitor's Monitor Radio from 1995-1997.
During the course of his career, Smith has received many accolades including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award and the Edward R Murrow Investigative Reporting award for his work with Youth Radio. Smith also received the Edward R. Murrow award for Hard News for his work in Afghanistan, the George Foster Peabody award for work with Youth Radio, and he was a Pew Gatekeeper Fellow.
Smith studied English and history at the University of New Hampshire.