David Folkenflik Folkenflik is NPR's media correspondent.
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David Folkenflik

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David Folkenflik 2018
Liz Linder/NPR

David Folkenflik

Media Correspondent, NPR News

David Folkenflik was described by Geraldo Rivera of Fox News as "a really weak-kneed, backstabbing, sweaty-palmed reporter." Others have been kinder. The Columbia Journalism Review, for example, once gave him a "laurel" for reporting that immediately led the U.S. military to institute safety measures for journalists in Baghdad.

Based in New York City, Folkenflik serves as NPR's media correspondent.

His stories and analyses are broadcast on the network's newsmagazines, such as All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Here & Now, and are featured on NPR's website and mobile platforms. Folkenflik's reports cast light on the stories of our age, the figures who shape journalism, and the tectonic shifts affecting the news industry. Folkenflik has reported intently on the relationship between the press, politicians, and the general public, as well as the fight over the flow of information in the age of Trump. Folkenflik brought listeners the profile of a Las Vegas columnist who went bankrupt fending off a libel lawsuit from his newspaper's new owner; conducted the first interview with New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet after his appointment; and repeatedly broke news involving the troubled Tronc company, which owns some of the most important regional newspapers in the country. In early 2018, Folkenflik's exposé about the past workplace behavior of the CEO of the Los Angeles Times forced the executive's immediate ouster from that job and helped inspire the sale of the newspaper.

Folkenflik is the author of Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires. The Los Angeles Times called Murdoch's World "meaty reading... laced with delicious anecdotes" and the Huffington Post described it as "the gift that keeps on giving." Folkenflik is also editor of Page One: Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalism. His work has appeared in such publications as the Washington Post, Politico Magazine, Newsweek International, the National Post of Canada, and the Australian Financial Review. Business Insider has called Folkenflik one of the 50 most influential people in American media.

Folkenflik joined NPR in 2004 after more than a decade at the Baltimore Sun, where he covered higher education, national politics, and the media. He started his professional career at the Durham Herald-Sun in North Carolina. Folkenflik served as editor-in-chief at the Cornell Daily Sun and graduated from Cornell with a bachelor's degree in history.

A five-time winner of the Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism from the National Press Club, Folkenflik has received numerous other recognitions, including the inaugural 2002 Mongerson Award for Investigative Reporting on the News and top honors from the National Headliners. In 2018, the Society of Professional Journalists recognized Folkenflik with its 2018 Ethics in Journalism Award. In 2017, Penn State University named Folkenflik as the nation's leading media critic with the Bart Richards Award. He also served as the inaugural Irik Sevin Fellow at Cornell. Folkenflik frequently lectures at college campuses and civic organizations across the country and often appears as a media analyst for television and radio programs in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and Ireland.

Story Archive

Republicans loyal to Trump express outrage over the FBI's search of his home

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Fox News Channel and other conservative media largely leapt to former President Donald Trump's defense after the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago resort. Here, Fox star and ally Sean Hannity (L) interviews Trump before a campaign rally in 2018 in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller/Getty Images hide caption

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Analysis: Fox and right-wing media snap to Trump's defense after FBI search

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Right-wing media is coming to Trump's defense over the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago

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U.S. President Joe Biden stands next to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) outside of the White House on June 24, 2021 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Hungary's prime minister calls for culture war at right-wing conference in Dallas

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told the crowd at the CPAC conference in Dallas on Thursday that they were fighting a "culture war." Brandon Bell/Getty Images hide caption

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Hungary's autocratic leader tells U.S. conservatives to join his culture war

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Jan. 6 editorials suggest Murdoch has tired of Trump

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The first season ends for the House committee on the Jan. 6 attacks

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Late on the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021, then-President Donald Trump affectionately addressed insurrectionists at the U.S. Capitol from the White House. The House select committee investigating the siege says the then president failed to act for hours — instead "gleefully" watching TV. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Austin news outlets release the entire security camera footage from Uvalde shooting

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In May, demonstrators gathered in Dayton, Ohio, to protest in favor of abortion rights after the leak of the draft of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade. A raped 10-year-old Ohio girl's abortion in Indianapolis recently became national news. SOPA Images/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett hide caption

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SOPA Images/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

A breakdown of how the Jan. 6 panel has made its hearings so easy to follow

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The House Select Committee has used TV news techniques and documentary evidence to argue that then President Donald Trump knowingly pressured public officials to commit illegal acts. In this case, the panel displayed a transcript of his call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as it played excerpts of the audio. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images hide caption

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Mary Rich, shown with her husband, Joel, at their home in Omaha, Neb., says self-promoters they trusted to help solve the killing of their son took advantage of them. "You're a total sucker," Mary Rich says. "I think every day: Who's going to bug us? What's coming at us? I will always think that." Walker Pickering for NPR hide caption

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Walker Pickering for NPR

Seth Rich's killing was exploited on Fox News and online. His parents are fed up

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Former Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt spoke to NPR minutes after testifying Monday to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. "Television ... really damaged the capacity of Americans to be good citizens in a republic because they confused the TV show with the real thing," Stirewalt told NPR. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Fired Fox News politics editor: Trump's ire at election night call led to 'panic'

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