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NPR Has Not Changed Its Policy on Live Interviews

There have been some questions and misunderstandings about when NPR News conducts interviews live and when we tape them.

The NPR Ombudsman, who is independent of the newsroom, published a column recently that offered her views on interviews NPR aired last week. In the course of her piece she expressed her opinion that certain interviews should not be done live.

The Ombudsman does not set the policies of NPR News. Her role is to hear the views of the public and offer her judgments on those views. As always we appreciate her suggestions and take them seriously.

Several subsequent commentators said that NPR would not be conducting live interviews with conservatives. That is incorrect.

Let me say in no uncertain terms, we would never apply a political litmus test to whether an interview is conducted live. Indeed, our preference is to interview newsmakers live.

Whether an interview is done live or taped is a decision made by show producers based on the needs and logistics of their show and the availability of their guests. The most common reason to tape a news interview is simply that the guest is not available at the scheduled time. For example, Morning Edition is live from 5 a.m. – 7 a.m. Eastern.

Our goal is to present the widest possible range of views to our audiences.

I hope this clarifies how these decisions are made and sets the record straight.