January 28, 2013 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.
January 17, 2013 Your complaints are heard. Or at least those of some of us. The NPR newsroom announced today that it will no longer refer on-air to the president as "Mr." in second references. The current president and his successors will be called by their last name, like the rest of us. But his wife is still "Mrs." And when there is a woman president? Oh, the gender conundrums.
January 7, 2013 Pushed by social media mores, we demand to know ever more about reporters online. But when Morning Edition went mainstream with innocent revelation, including a reporter's lack of information, listener complaints underlined the perils of the practice. We have no guidelines for a rapidly changing media world.
December 22, 2012 Listeners debate the extent to which NPR should be in the live news business, but what really stood out all week in the Sandy Hook coverage is the remarkable accuracy and ethical restraint. The lessons of the Gabrielle Giffords debacle nearly two years ago have been well absorbed. Internal staff memos during the first day and a half of Sandy Hook are an example of how to do it right.
December 7, 2012 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.
November 6, 2012 Only the president of the United States is given the respect on air of being called "Mister" or by his office title in second references. I hereby announce on this election day that whoever wins, the honorific be dumped come the January inauguration. It's not just a matter of journalistic fairness. It's a matter of being American.
November 5, 2012 Steve Inskeep is a veteran reporter of wars and disasters with an appreciation for dark humor and the absurd. But how far can you go when you are the host of one of the largest general news shows in the country? Some listeners complained about his comments during coverage of Hurricane Sandy.
October 5, 2012 Or Mister Governor or Mister President. Listeners hear bias in campaign coverage. I hear Andy Jackson and unwashed American culture.
September 29, 2012 Criticisms of NPR's coverage of the attack in Benghazi have become mixed with criticisms of the Obama administration's explanations. But NPR acquitted itself, if not perfectly, then very well. Steve Inskeep finds two valuable lessons in it all.
September 27, 2012 Here is a test of NPR's political bias and your own convictions about what it might be. Headlines set the tone for NPR.org and are a litmus test for all the coverage. So let's look at the last three days of campaign headlines. You decide.
September 14, 2012 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?
September 12, 2012 It's an insult that some Republicans repeat with glee, but complaints that NPR reporters have themselves indulged in referring to the 'Democrat Party' have so far proven to be untrue. Fortunately, your ombudsman is not a political reporter, or FDR would be turning in his grave.
September 10, 2012 An audience poll to select the 100 best young adult books coughed up 75,000 voters and just two books with non-white protagonists. Even a winning writer complained. Kill the judges? No, the enemy is us. Book editors ask for a solution.
September 1, 2012 Readers and listeners complain about bias in individual segments of NPR's coverage, but Managing Editor David Sweeney says overall balance in the aggregate is what counts. We listened to a morning news meeting to see how the NPR sausage gets made.
August 20, 2012 That is how Gov. Romney introduced Ryan and NPR ran it. Later soundbites had Romney correctly introducing Ryan as his new vice presidential nominee. Many listeners howled. Was NPR airbrushing the introduction to save Romney an embarrassment? The answer is elementary, my dear readers.