A cost-cutting, face-saving move by the Post to replace its independent ombudsman with what sounds like a customer care representative is sadly shortsighted. It contributes precisely to the decline in public trust that lies behind the travails at the Post and all American news media. NPR in polls confronts the same trust malady. The press grows in power, yet sheds ever more controls. Editors will never investigate themselves. The public rebels.
Investigations into NPR stories and editorial practices in which independence, honesty and impartiality are questioned.
When a remark about the NRA by a sports commentator was edited out of later re-broadcasts and the Web edition, some listeners questioned NPR's editing policies. We asked the newsroom to explain this edit and the policy in general. What technology giveth, it taketh away.
NPR's photo blog has started a remarkably considered conversation over the ethics of taking a moving Newtown picture of a woman praying in grief. The woman and the photographer — each sympathetic — weigh in. The blog's debate over trade-offs is worth expanding to a wider public.
Should NPR air inflammatory name-calling such as "racist," "homophobic" or "anti-Semitic" of a public figure when the proof is thin? A case involving Elliott Abrams and President Obama's nominee for secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, raises questions about journalistic fairness, audience intelligence and American character.
Did NPR's Beijing correspondent, Louisa Lim, exploit and endanger an 84-year-old man with impaired hearing when she interviewed him and gave his name on air? The dangers of being interviewed in China are multiple. But Lim explains why the man is safe and offers insights into the difficulties of finding sources and getting the story in the rising superpower.
An ambiguous quote about the first lady by an attendee at a Romney American Legion event did injustice to blacks, veterans and the attendee herself. Many listeners heard hate speech. If so, did NPR share blame? Should reporters even care how the audience might react?
Many rushed to judgment, but while Ahmad Shafi sinned, he should not be punished. His is a case study in cultural differences and speedy editorial reaction. Left for debate is whether to remove stories from the Web and history.
The Guardian's Dan Gillmor writes on the changing role of an ombudsman, or public editor, and interaction with the audience. I set out a year ago to do much of what he recommends, but never stated it so intelligently. Are we on the right path?
A story is not about you, but you feel tarred by implication. Should NPR and the news media add a clarification to the Web story for the record and posterity? The case of a former Guantanamo chief prosecutor raises possibilities and problems. We need a public consensus.
Reporter Peter Overby worked for a Common Cause magazine 18 years ago. He too rosily labeled it a "good government" group in stories on ALEC, the conservative business-legislator organization. But the stories were fair, disclosure of Overby's past was adequate, and the attacks on the messenger leave standing the message on ALEC's tax status.
We all love NPR music. In honor of its highly independent staffers, its time to run a permanent ethical disclaimer on all NPR.org's cultural pages saying that because of technical inevitabilities, ads and reviews on the same album, book or movie occasionally run next to each other.
NPR's staff reflects the talent pool of college-educated racial and ethnic minorities. Blacks have an even higher representation. Is this measure enough? This post separates out an update I also added to an earlier column on race, ethnic and NPR.
After a series of messy mishaps, NPR isn't doing badly when it comes to racial and ethnic diversity in its coverage and staffing. Management is trying to do better. I explore what audiences identify with NPR and who really is producing the news that you hear and read.
Of the hundreds of responses, some made me squirm. Dismissive, selling out, conflict of interest, insipid—I address these and other responses in a revisit of my post on whether to acknowledge corporate sponsors in news reports on them.
Many listeners said Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me insulted Catholics when it joked Pope Benedict XVI was a gay icon. The sensitivity is understandable, but much depends on your acceptance of homosexuality, which most Catholics in fact do. Humor lightens the tension of a nation caught in social transition.