Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station.
Deborah Becker, a senior correspondent and host at WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, will be honored with the 2021 Excellence in Legal Journalism Award at Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s Excellence in the Law event, which will be held virtually in a ceremony on Thursday, May 13. The award, sponsored annually by the Massachusetts Bar Association, is bestowed annually on a reporter whose coverage of the legal system in Massachusetts best reflects the commitment to truth and justice shared by both the bar and the press.
Becker’s reporting focuses on the criminal legal system, mental health, and addiction. Since Gov. Charlie Baker’s March 2020 declaration of a state of emergency over COVID-19 in Massachusetts, Becker has consistently delved into the pandemic’s effects on the court system in the commonwealth, especially those involving courthouse closings, trial delays, and case backlogs. Her coverage of the state’s criminal justice system also includes regular, in-depth coverage of COVID-19’s impact on the prison population in Massachusetts, police reform, and the fallout from the Hinton Drug Lab scandal.
Martin W. Healy, the MBA’s chief legal counsel and chief operating officer, says: "Deborah Becker is a familiar name and voice to all longtime listeners of WBUR, where she is one of the most highly respected reporters covering the courts and legal system in Massachusetts. This past year her reporting zeroed in on the issues most important to lawyers and their clients, including courthouse access, trial delays and postponements, and case backlogs. We also remain particularly impressed with her excellent and ongoing coverage of criminal justice reform efforts at the State House, including those related to police reform, and the processes surrounding commutations and clemency. We are proud to partner with our friends at Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly to honor such a deserving journalist."
Reporting for WBUR since 1998, Becker is also a substitute host on several WBUR programs. She also worked on the launch of WRNI, Rhode Island's NPR News Station, where she served as Morning Edition host and host of the weekly show "Focus Rhode Island."
Before coming to WBUR, Becker worked at Monitor Radio, the broadcast arm of The Christian Science Monitor newspaper. She also worked at several Boston area radio stations. Becker has received numerous awards for her reporting, interviewing, newscasts, and investigative reporting from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, National Education Writers Association, Associated Press, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Parent/Professional Advocacy League. She has also completed several fellowships on addiction, mental health, juvenile justice, and journalism and the law.
Becker studied journalism at St. Bonaventure University. She lives with her family in central Massachusetts.
To register for Excellence in the Law, click here.