Last week at the Aspen Ideas Festival, NPR President and CEO Gary E. Knell joined Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas Friedman of The New York Times for an early-morning chat on the future of journalism and civic dialogue. Tom shared his own personal feelings about NPR (and a little investment advice) with Gary at the start and end of the session: "If you were a stock, I would buy you."
During the discussion, Gary and Tom discussed NPR's role in the larger media landscape, the opportunities and challenges of it's business model, and how public radio is evolving in the digital age.
For many media companies, reporting on the Arab Spring and its aftermath has been one of the greatest hurdles in recent months. Gary, Tom and the audience spoke openly about everything from accurately fact-checking casualty statistics in Syria to efforts to protect reporters' safety to what NPR's Andy Carvin has been able to do on Twitter.
(All this before 9 a.m., and there don't seem to be any coffee cups on stage.)