Ted Robbins

As an NPR correspondent based in Tucson, Arizona, Ted Robbins covers the Southwest including Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.

Specifically, Robbins reports on a range of issues from immigration and border security to water issues and wildfires. He covers the economy in the West with an emphasis on the housing market and Las Vegas development. He reported on the January 2011, Tucson shooting that killed six and injured many included Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

From Tombstone to Santa Fe, Phoenix to Las Vegas and Moab to Indian Country, there's no shortage of people, politics and places worth covering in the growing American Southwest. Robbins' reporting is driven by his curiosity to find, understand and communicate all sides of each story through accurate, clear and engaging coverage. In addition to his domestic work, Robbins has reported internationally in Mexico, El Salvador, Nepal and Sudan.

Robbins' reporting has been honored with numerous accolades, including two Emmy Awards: one for his story on sex education in schools, and another for his series on women in the workforce. He received a CINE Golden Eagle for a 1995 documentary on Mexican agriculture called "Tomatoes for the North."

In 2006, Robbins wrote an article for the Neiman Reports at Harvard about journalism and immigration. He was chosen for a 2009 French-American Foundation Fellowship focused on comparing European and U.S. immigration issues.

Raised in Los Angeles, Robbins became an avid NPR listener while spending hours driving (or stopped in traffic) on congested freeways. He is delighted to now be covering stories for his favorite news source.

Prior to coming to NPR in 2004, Robbins spent five years as a regular contributor to The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 15 years at the PBS affiliate in Tucson, and worked as a field producer for CBS News. He worked for NBC affiliates in Tucson and Salt Lake City, where he also did some radio reporting and print reporting for USA Today.

Robbins earned his Bachelor of Arts in psychology and his master's degree in journalism, both from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught journalism at the University of Arizona for a decade.

Pages

Politics
8:00 am
Sat October 15, 2011

Recall Election Targets Ala. Immigration Law Author

A relatively small election is getting intense interest in Arizona. It's an election to recall State Sen. Russell Pearce, the architect of Arizona's strict immigration laws. As NPR's Ted Robbins reports, the recall election is splitting the community along religious as much as political lines.

National Security
12:14 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Defending Defense Contracts: Programs Turn To PR

In southern Arizona, troops take part in a large-scale search-and-rescue exercise called Operation Angel Thunder.

Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 5:45 pm

Five Air Force Pave Hawk helicopters are parked or landing in the high desert east of Tucson, Ariz. They are transporting victims of a mock earthquake as part of a training exercise called Operation Angel Thunder.

"We were always known for staying really quiet and not really saying much," says Brett Hartnett, who started Operation Angel Thunder five years ago.

Read more
Around the Nation
12:01 am
Thu August 25, 2011

New U.S. Deportation Policy Spares Some

Immigrants and their lawyers are beginning to see the effects of the White House policy announced last week that downgrades some deportation cases.

The Department of Homeland Security says it hasn't officially begun to prioritize all 300,000 cases before the nation's immigration courts, but prosecutors are definitely employing newfound discretion.

Read more
U.S.
8:22 am
Sun August 7, 2011

Illegal Border Crossings Fewer But Just As Deadly

This border patrol rescue beacon is in the desert about 15 miles north of the Mexican border southwest of Tucson. Anyone in need can push the button for an emergency response. The instructions are in English, Spanish and the local Native American language.
Ted Robbins NPR

Over the last decade, the U.S. government has spent billions beefing up surveillance, manpower and fencing along the border with Mexico. Fewer people are attempting to cross, but hundreds of migrants still die every year, and not a day goes by without a rescue by border patrol agents.

Officials and humanitarian groups are ramping up efforts to find illegal crossers before the worst happens, and they're hoping new deterrents convince people not to cross in the first place.

Catching The Crossers

Read more
Around the Nation
10:47 am
Thu July 7, 2011

'Dig This' Offers New Kind Of Sandbox Experience

A Caterpillar Excavator at Dig This. Dig This let's park attendees drive and operate construction equipment.
Ted Robbins NPR

Las Vegas just opened up a new playground, but it's not for children.

It's called Dig This, and it claims to be the first heavy-equipment playground — as in construction equipment.

Before riding, participants attend a safety and equipment orientation. The park is also staffed with instructors, like Phil Chavez who is a former construction worker. Chavez can communicate with riders over a wireless headset, and just to be extra safe, he has a kill switch in case a machine gets out of control.

Read more

Pages