Ombudsman Report: March 2002

Listeners concerns have increased in every category. Overall, the number of e-mails increased 60.9 percent over the previous quarterly report.

E-mail by subject:

Ombudsman column 755
On-air accuracy 202
Bias (left/right) 111
Middle East (accusations of pro-Palestine bias) 530
Middle East (accusations of pro-Israel bias) 3,402
Corrections (on air and on line) 59
Journalistic ethics 42
General information (transcripts, tapes, music, etc.) 733
Hoaxes 79
Story suggestions/commentaries 490
Inquiries into stories (complaints) 123
Legal (copyright, permissions, complaints) 33
NPR/hosts/programs 2,834
Online 331
Politics 36
Stations (local programs, complaints) 258
Underwriting 97
Total 10,120

Part of the increase in the number of e-mails regarding NPR's Middle East coverage is the result of two significant pressure campaigns: from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) and from CAMERA. Overall, it remains my impression that in the past six months, the number of specific complaints about NPR's Middle East reporting has declined even as the volume about NPR coverage in general, has increased. The higher number of e-mails may also be a function of increased listenership since many e-mails are from self-identified first time listeners.

Jeffrey Dvorkin
Office of the Ombudsman
March 7, 2002