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Diane Roberts is a commentator on Weekend Edition Sunday. An eighth-generation Floridian, she is Professor of English at Florida State University in Tallahassee, where she pulls weeds in the spring and attends FSU football games in the fall. She went to Oxford University courtesy of a Marshall Scholarship in 1980 and earned a bachelor's degree in English literature and a doctorate in American literature.
She is the author of three books, including Dream State (Free Press, 2004), a history of Florida through her strange and varied family. Roberts' kinfolk include Civil War soldiers, moonshiners, plantation owners, bus drivers, swamp lawyers and party fixers. Her cousin Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward wanted to drain the Everglades, and her cousin Clayton Roberts was director of the division of elections during the presidential vote recount imbroglio of 2000.
Roberts' previous two books -- Faulkner and Southern Womanhood (University of Georgia Press, 1993) and The Myth of Aunt Jemima (Routledge, 1994) -- are explorations of Southern culture, a subject she taught at the University of Alabama. She is also a journalist, writing op-ed pieces for The New York Times, The New Republic, and The Times of London. She is a political columnist for The St. Petersburg Times in Florida and makes documentaries for BBC Radio in London, where she also spends part of the year.
Roberts is so peripatetic that she cannot give an accurate count of the pairs of shoes she owns, but she knows it's at least three dozen, spread out across two continents. She has been a commentator for NPR since 1993, starting out at Weekend All Things Considered then moving to Weekend Edition Sunday in 1996. She would like everyone to know that the weather in Florida is actually terrible: hurricanes, thunderstorms, and sometimes even snow and ice -- at least up in Tallahassee.
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.