March 21, 2006 NPR does solid reporting on national issues. But it doesn't have a monopoly on good journalism and a recent report seemed to imply that it does.
March 15, 2006 Most freelancers work on the media margins, pitching a story to a news organization, hoping it will be bought and expecting to be paid for their expenses on top of their fee. Recently, an NPR freelancer — and NPR — erred in not addressing a reviewer who received a free service worth more than $2,000 from the company under review.
March 7, 2006 Listeners can become bored by even the most compelling story, if it seems never to change. "Compassion fatigue" has indeed set in among many listeners and I fear, among some NPR journalists as well.
February 28, 2006 Listeners who comment on the music heard from NPR have strong opinions, which is usually to say that they don't agree with NPR's choices — especially over what is aired on NPR's newsmagazine programs.
February 21, 2006 The Olympic Games are in the news right now. But some listeners say they don't want to know the results. Another issue for some listeners, like fingernails on a blackboard, is how NPR refers to President Bush.
February 14, 2006 My last column, concerning NPR's handling of the Muhammad cartoon controversy, generated a large response from visitors to NPR's Web site. The majority who have contacted me are convinced that NPR should have posted the offending cartoon online.
February 7, 2006 A recent cartoon published by a conservative Danish daily inflames tensions between the Muslim world and the West. The cartoon has generated a lot of discussion in editorial meetings, around water coolers as well as on the air.
January 31, 2006 Every few months, I receive e-mails from inside and outside NPR asking what it is I do and whether an ombudsman is effective in maintaining journalistic standards. It's a fair question and hard to answer in a few sentences. But it's worth reminding listeners, newly minted journalists, and me, what an ombudsman represents.
January 17, 2006 Here is the short version: people who work in news and information, in print and broadcasting, call themselves journalists because journalism is what they do. But some listeners increasingly ask, "Says who?"
January 10, 2006 NPR newscasts and the NPR Web site are the places to go for breaking news. But some listeners found that both handled the West Virginia mine disaster story with some serious missteps.
January 4, 2006 An astonishing year for national and international events has reinforced the old Chinese adage: May you live in interesting times. For many listeners, the implications of that phrase may well resound for years to come.
December 19, 2005 Many listeners are concerned that there appear to be different editorial standards at NPR — one for the news programs directly produced by NPR and another for programs that NPR doesn't produce but distributes.
December 6, 2005 Listener Keith Denslow from Talala, Okla., has been kind enough to send me a newspaper clipping from The Tulsa World, dated June 23, 1988! Reading the article is like looking at a photograph of your younger self — you recognize the features but oh, those styles!
November 29, 2005 Religion is a knotty subject for news coverage because the way in which a responsible reporter approaches a topic by employing skeptical inquiry and consideration for other points of view can be perceived by as being anti-religious or even bigoted by those whose personal beliefs fall under such scrutiny.
October 26, 2005 I don't know Judith Miller, but I recognize those qualities that can make reporters like her into stars but at the same time be a challenge for editors to manage. I also sense a strong lather of sexism in the reporting about her.