Terria Smith

As a member of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians and one-time resident of a dozen different California municipalities, Terria Smith is truly a Golden State native.

This award-winning journalist received her undergraduate degree from Humboldt State University in 2008. Smith is a Chips Quinn Scholar who interned with the Ventura County Star. She has been a member of the Native American Journalist Association since 2005. Directly before coming to the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, she spent almost two years working as a reporter for The Desert Sun newspaper.

Since coming to the J-School, Smith has made radio and multimedia reporting her focus. She has produced stories for KALW-FM and KALX-FM. She also interned for NPR-West in Culver City during the summer of 2011.


UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
August 2010 - May 2012
Graduating with the class of 2012.
Humboldt State University
August 2006 - May 2008
Journalism & Mass Communication - Print media emphasis
University of South Dakota
June 2006 -
Graduate of the American Indian Journalism Institute, a program of the First Amendment Center's Freedom Forum.

Published Stories:

One hundred years with Ishi, the "last wild Indian" of North America
Crosscurrents with KALW News
The 100th anniversary of the public debut of a man called Ishi. Ishi was Native American, a Yana from the Deer Creek area, about 150 miles northeast of Berkeley. And for the past century he’s been known as “the last wild Indian in North America.”
Palm Springs: Attainable and Affordable Housing in Southern California
NPR Intern Edition Blog - Summer 2011
Two hours east of Los Angeles is the resort desert city of Palm Springs in Riverside County. The area is still being reported as having the highest foreclosure rate in California. Realtors in Palm Springs are getting through the recession by selling distressed properties. In this city that means luxury homes, mid-century designed houses, and condos. NPR West intern Terria Smith reports on how the drop in house prices has people not only buying vacation homes again but also primary residences.
Cast of “The Nutcracker” prepares for opening night
Oakland North
Radio story featuring interviews with dancers from the Oakland Ballet Company. The dancers were preparing for their 2010 production of "The Nutcracker."
Proposed lakeside apartment building would have 37 stories, giant solar panels
Oakland North
San Francisco-based Real Estate Transformation Group has introduced new promotional plans for an “energy harvester.” New plans for the 37-story apartment complex’s design include a 14,000 square-foot solar panel on the south façade of the building, which is the size of three basketball courts.
Oakland’s Jewish community celebrates eight days of Hanukkah
Oakland North
Oakland residents of the Jewish faith joined millions of people around the world in celebrating Hanukkah.
City Slicker’s farm springs up in West Oakland
Oakland North
Thanks to a $4 million grant from the California State Parks Department, which City Slicker Farms was awarded on November 8, a parcel of land in West Oakland will soon be transformed into a community farm and park.
East Bay Area nonprofits look for volunteers at local fair
Oakland North
Community members representing a dozen East Bay Area nonprofit organizations participated in the Oakland City Center Volunteer Fair.
Students: Failure of Prop 19 impacts recreational use little
Oakland North
Oakland college students shared their thoughts on the failure of Proposition 19. Had the measure passed it would have legalized recreational use of marijuana in California.
Marijuana: A state-by-state breakdown
Oakland North
An overview of states that had marijuana measures on the ballot during the November 2010 election. (Text story written by Terria Smith, class of 2012. Flash graphic by Roberto Daza, class of 2012.)
Gospel choirs rock Oracle Arena with big sweet music
Oakland North
Video and text story covering the 2010 "How Sweet The Sound" gospel choir competition at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. (Shared Byline with Kevin Fixler.)
Dance company looks beyond disabilities
Oakland North
AXIS Dance Company performs for Oakland children during Dance Access Day: A Day of Dance, Disability, Performance and Fun. (Shared byline with Abby Baird.)
Addict treatment centers call proposed funding cuts dangerous
Oakland North
East Bay drug abuse treatment patients and providers advocated the California State Legislature to keep Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from cutting Medi-Cal funding for state-supported addiction services.
New owners celebrate Habitat "sweat equity" homes
Oakland North
More than 100 volunteers, homeowners, families and community members gathered at the 10800 through 10900 blocks of Edes Avenue to celebrate the completion of the last eight houses in the 54-home Habitat for Humanity East Bay development.
Activists prepare for demonstration to “make big oil pay”
Oakland North
Terria Smith, class of 2012, writes a story covering a pre-demonstration training put on by Mobilization for Climate Justice West.
Development's school plans founder
Ventura County Star
Residents in a Moorpark housing development agreed to pay a Mello-Roos tax at the time they purchased their homes for a new school. The story addressed how neither the city nor school district were in a position to build one in the near future.
12-year-old Venturan to help set goals for healthy living
Ventura County Star
Ventura middle school student Natalie Smith became a youth advisory board member for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint effort of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation.
Homeowners, board say dispute settled
Ventura County Star
A settlement is reached in a Simi Valley homeowners association between a dispute involving the residents and board members.
Moorpark councilman seeks ban of plastic bags
Ventura County Star
Story about Moorpark City Council members who were aiming to ban plastic bags. Terria Smith wrote the story while interning as a 2008 Chips Quinn Scholar with the Ventura County Star.
Biodiesel trailer closes days after grand opening
Ventura County Star
Biodiesel trailer in Ojai was shut down by the Ventura County Fire Department. Terria Smith, class of 2012, wrote the story as a 2008 Chips Quinn Scholar with the Ventura County Star.
Users of biodiesel can now fill tanks at trailer in Ojai
Ventura County Star
Terria Smith, class of 2012, wrote this story while interning as a 2008 Chips Quinn Scholar with the Ventura County Star.
Healthy young eagle returning to Santa Cruz Island
Ventura County Star
Terria Smith, class of 2012, wrote this story while interning as a Chips Quinn Scholar for the Ventura County Star.
Family of deceased man will meet his kidney recipient
Ventura County Star
Terria Smith, class of 2010, wrote the story while interning as a 2008 Chips Quin Scholar at the Ventura County Star.
Ojai pair enlisting others for yearlong project to aid Earth one meal at a time
Ventura County Star
Terria Smith, class of 2012, wrote while a 2008 Chips Quinn Scholars Program intern at the Ventura County Star.
Homeowners, board say dispute settled
Ventura County Star
A Simi Valley homeowners association compromised with residents about restrictions concerning recreational activities for children.
Nurses protest staffing at hospital
Ventura County Star
Terria Smith, class of 2012, wrote the story while a 2008 Chips Quinn Scholars Program intern at the Ventura County Star.
Pest management adviser retires
Ventura County Star
An agricultural story focused on the retirement of a Ventura County pest management supervisor. Terria Smith, class of 2012, wrote while a 2008 Chips Quinn Scholars Program intern at the Ventura County Star.
Damming Tradition
Reznet News
A story published in 2007 by Terria Smith, class of 2012.The story focuses on the environmental impacts of the damming of the Klamath River and how it effects tribes that live along the river. Smith wrote the story as an undergraduate student at Humboldt State University.


Native American Journalists Association 2008 Best College Feature (July 2008)
Terria Smith was awarded Best College Feature in 2008 by the Native American Journalists Association for the story "Damming Tradition."
Chips Quinn Scholar 2008 (June 2008)
Awarded a summer internship with the Chips Quinn Scholars Program for minority journalists. The program is part of the Freedom Forum.
Press Freedom Fund Scholarship 2007/2008 (May 2007)
Awarded a scholarship by the Humboldt State University Journalism Department which recognizes students who uphold the First Amendment.

Work Experience:

Intern - National Desk
NPR-West  - Culver City CA  ( June 2011 - August 2011 )
Conducted research, transcribing and scheduling at NPR-West's National Desk. Also shadowed reporters during assignments.
KALX-FM's North Gate Radio  - Berkeley CA  ( January 2011 - April 2011 )
Produced radio stories for the North Gate Radio show on UC Berkeley's student station KALX-FM.
Oakland North  - Berkeley CA  ( August 2010 - December 2010 )
Health and environment reporter for Oakland North, the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism's online daily news publication.
The Desert Sun  - Palm Springs CA  ( October 2008 - July 2010 )
Worked as a community reporter for The Desert Sun newspaper. Wrote news stories for the Palm Springs Sun, a weekly publication, as well as for the daily newspaper The Desert Sun. Also served as the breaking news reporter on Saturdays.
Reporting Intern
Ventura County Star  - Camarillo CA  ( June 2008 - August 2008 )
Wrote general assignment news stories as a summer intern for the Ventura County Star newspaper, a daily publication with a circulation of about 90,000.
National News Reporter
KRFH-AM  - Arcata CA  ( January 2008 - May 2008 )
Reported national news on Fridays for KRFH-AM, Humboldt State University's student radio station.
Student Assistant
KHSU-FM  - Arcata CA  ( August 2007 - December 2007 )
Performed clerical and customer service duties in the membership services department at KHSU-FM, a public radio station in Humboldt County.
Reporter/Film Critic
Reznetnews.org  - Missoula MT  ( September 2006 - May 2008 )
Submitted news stories and movie reviews to Reznetnews.org, an online student publication focusing on Native American issues.
Reporter/Page Designer/Managing Editor
The Lumberjack Student Newspaper  - Arcata CA  ( August 2006 - May 2008 )
Responsible for producing news stories on a weekly deadline, designing pages in a print newspaper, assisting the editor-in-chief with their duties.


  • Software competency: Pro Tools, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, InDesign, InCopy, Dalet