KGOU

This is KGOU

How we do what we do

This space includes commentary from the NPR Ombudsman, Elizabeth Jensen, the public's representative to NPR who serves as an independent source regarding NPR's programming.

On June 30, NPR's Weekend All Things Considered aired a lighthearted World Cup piece discussing why the Brits use "football" and the Americans use "soccer" to refer to the same game. The subsequent debate this piece sparked has nothing to do with soccer and is not remotely lighthearted.

Update: Four days after this column was published, NPR changed its policy. According to a July 2 memo from Sara Goo, an NPR managing editor who oversees digital content, to the newsroom, "opinion content published on NPR.org must now include 'Opinion:' as the first word of the headline."

NPR Earns Five 2018 National Murrow Awards

Jun 22, 2018

The Radio Television Digital News Association announced today the 2018 National Edward R. Murrow Award recipients and NPR earned five awards, the most honors of any news outlet this year.

  • In the Radio Network category, NPR and National Correspondent John Burnett were recognized for continuing coverage and reporting of immigration stories.

Can NPR reduce the number of monthly mistakes it makes in half, by October? That's the newsroom's ambitious goal.

On Monday, referencing an error rate that he called "unacceptable," NPR's standards and practices editor Mark Memmott laid out a new newsroom system that he hopes will lead to fewer corrections.

It's hard to believe that it's been just two months since we introduced the new NPR app for iOS, the first major redesign of NPR's flagship news app since its creation nearly a decade ago.

We've heard from many of you about your experience using the app and we can't thank you enough for taking the time to offer your thoughtful feedback and questions. This launch was the product of many months of research, testing and development, but we can learn so much more now that our work is in the hands of more than a million active users.

With two suicides this week of well-known Americans, "best practices" for reporting such deaths are again relevant. NPR's reporting has mostly been exemplary, even as it has missed the mark at least twice.

A newscast at 4 p.m. ET Thursday reported the means by which fashion designer Kate Spade took her life; the 1 p.m. Friday newscast reported the same for Anthony Bourdain, the chef-turned-food journalist. The headline reports that start each hour are the most-heard NPR reports. Listeners complained about both reports.

Very few people these days are going to the landing pages for NPR blogs such as The Two-Way (for breaking news) or Parallels (for international news) to catch up on the day's happenings. If you're one of them, however, you're going to encounter some changes come June 5.

A story breaks. An NPR reporter writing an online story (not a radio newsmagazine report, where there might be a firmer deadline) attempts to contact a subject of the news. How long is a reasonable amount of time to wait for a response before posting the story at NPR.org without one?

That debate is at the bottom of a complaint about an NPR story that ran last week. It is also a question newsrooms are facing daily in the #MeToo era as accusations against public figures proliferate.

Behind the Stories features perspectives from the reporters, editors and producers who create NPR's content, offering insights into how and why they do what they do.

NPR, like other news organizations, is in a fight for the attention of audiences. That means getting aggressive about putting NPR journalism where readers (and listeners) are. Increasingly, that's on their phones. As a result, NPR has ramped up its "push" notifications, the alerts that pop up on mobile phone home screens when news breaks. (NPR also sends out email alerts, which often duplicate the push notifications.)

My last column on the burgeoning number of politician interviews on NPR's newsmagazines, many live (and then rebroadcast over subsequent hours), provoked a good deal of response.

My essential point (channeling the frustrations of many listeners) was that the interviews, which have proliferated on NPR in the last year, too often do not add to listeners' understanding of the issues being discussed.

Public radio podcast lovers, clear your schedules: Spotify users now have the NPR podcast catalogue at their fingertips.

Dashboard display of alert
Patrick Roberts / KGOU

KGOU has begun including severe weather and other messaging capabilities on mobile devices and other digital platforms. KGOU is one of 27 public radio stations participating in a nationwide project designed to increase locally relevant emergency information to “tornado alley.” KGOU now has the capability to issue text and graphic alerts on mobile phones, HD radios, “connected car” devices, Radio Data System (RDS) displays, and in online applications.

Embedded is the NPR podcast takes a story from the news and goes deep. Whether that means digging into the Trump administration's past, the stories behind police shootings caught on video, or visiting a town ravaged by the opioid epidemic, host Kelly McEvers takes you where the news is happening.

The podcast is back for a new season, with new in-depth reporting in your feeds starting Thursday, May 3. Hear the trailer now, available in NPR One, Apple Podcasts and wherever you listen to podcasts.

NPR Women Win Six Gracie Awards

Apr 19, 2018

Created in the name of actress and radio host, Gracie Allen, the Alliance for Women In Media Gracie Awards recognize women who are industry leaders and pioneers in media and entertainment. This award proudly celebrates work created by women, about women, for women. Today, NPR women were presented with six Gracie awards:

Behind the Stories features perspectives from the reporters, editors and producers who create NPR's content, offering insights into how and why they do what they do. For this post, we sat down with NPR Education Correspondent Claudio Sanchez to talk about his piece, "What Decades Of Covering School Shootings Has Taught Me"?

What drew you to report on education?

The day I met Carl Kasell, in 1998, he just reached out and shook my hand and said my name. And then he said it again. I think he knew how exciting it is for all of us public radio nerds to hear your name, spoken by that voice, and he wanted to give me a gift.

I met Carl when he was in his early 60s, already an institution in the news business, at an age when he could think about retiring. But instead, he started a second career.

Live interviews with newsmakers. If I had to find a thread that runs through a couple of hundred listener emails, tweets and direct communications with my office in recent months, it would be concerns that stem from the challenges of doing live interviews. Those three- to five-minute conversations (or sometimes grillings) with politicians and policy experts are now a regular staple of Morning Edition and are being heard more frequently on the weekday All Things Considered, as well.

This awards season, NPR journalists and programs were nominated in several categories at both The Webby Awards. Recognized for creative reporting, innovative storytelling, and limitless curiosity, these nominations are just a snippet of the outstanding work NPR produces on a daily basis.

Listeners who tuned in to All Things Considered Wednesday may have heard a strangely vague on-air story retraction that raised as many questions as it answered — especially for those who didn't hear the original story on April 3.

Here's what was said:

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