April 5, 2006 Each year, hundreds of foreign journalists are invited by the State Department to visit newsrooms in the United States, learning about how journalism works in America. Last week, five American journalists and academics (including the NPR Ombudsman), were invited to return the favor by going to Turkey to meet with journalists in Istanbul and Ankara.
March 29, 2006 The listeners' ombudsman usually writes about listener complaints. But for the sake of balance, he has decided to share listener e-mails that enthusiastically laud and appreciate what NPR does on a daily basis.
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 24, 2006 Being heard on NPR is considered by many as a sign of having made it. Authors and musicians interviewed on NPR notice that their new book or CD starts selling briskly — and usually within 24 hours. But how does one get on NPR? It's a question that puzzles many.
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.