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

On Here and Now Wednesday, sharp listeners caught NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik flatly stating that Donald Trump Jr. "knowingly lied" in July 2016 when asked about contact between his father's presidential campaign and Russian figures.

If the number of media mentions is an indicator, the National Dairy Council and affiliated organization the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy seemed to hit the equivalent of a marketing home run with a recent survey purporting to show that 7 percent of Americans believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

Good for them. I just don't think NPR should have played along.

Weekend Listens: Award Winning Stories from NPR

Jun 23, 2017

Looking for some recommendations for weekend listening? Check out these award winning stories from NPR. The 2017 Edward R. Murrow Awards were announced this week and NPR won several for feature reporting, excellence in innovation and continuing coverage.

Colorado Public Radio recently brought together a panel of news professionals in Denver to talk about journalism ethics. While a number of topics were touched upon, the allotted 90 minutes was hardly enough time to explore the many questions about how NPR and CPR journalists approach their work.

Last week, when former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, he said at one point: "I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter."

That memo was a nonclassified set of notes he wrote detailing a meeting he had with President Trump.

NPR, like most other major news organizations, referred to what Comey did — asking a friend to share the memo with a reporter — as "leaking."

"Undocumented." "Obamacare." "Pro-life."

According to NPR's style guide, these words are to be avoided — or used sparingly — by NPR reporters and hosts when discussing the issues in which they are likely to come up (immigration, health care, abortion rights). But sharp listeners and readers note that all have been used in recent weeks, either on-air or online (by staff, not just by people being interviewed).

We are here this morning to remember those we've lost, to honor their commitment and to rededicate ourselves to the principals they believed in and died for.

An April 27 Morning Edition report by Geoff Brumfiel, an NPR science editor, ran just a scant 2 ½ minutes, but it prompted an outsized outpouring of emails.

Editor's Note: Last week, Elizabeth was honored to give the 2017 George Chaplin Fellowship in Distinguished Journalism address at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her prepared remarks are below and may differ slightly from delivery. Mahalo to the East-West Center and event co-sponsor Hawaii Public Radio for hosting.

Thank you to the East-West Center, for this warm welcome.

The New York Times Magazine wrote last year: "In a culture in which we are all talking about ourselves more than ever, Gross is not only listening intently; she's asking just the right questions." We couldn't agree more. Neither can the nearly 650 NPR Member stations carrying the show and the 6.2 million people a week that tune in.*

Since Ask Me Another's pilot season, which began airing on May 4, 2012, Ask Me Another has played nearly 1000 games with over 1,300 contestants, with VIP guests ranging from Sir Patrick Stewart and Uzo Aduba to Lewis Black and Josh Groban. Now, NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia is marking its fifth anniversary with a special podcast re-release today of its very first episode, including a new interview between host Ophira Eisenberg and actor/author John Hodgman, the guest on that original episode.

In 1980, Frank Deford voiced his first commentary for NPR, launching an incredible run that had him filing, as of this week, 1,656 of his signature insights into the world of sports and the human stories that weave through the world of competition. And on today's Morning Edition, he shared that this will be his final regular commentary for NPR.

KGOU’s Capitol Insider Now Available on iTunes

May 2, 2017

The weekly conversation between KGOU’s Dick Pryor, eCapitol News Director Shawn Ashley, and Oklahoma’s political newsmakers is now accessible from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer through iTunes!

The Ombudsman's Office awoke last week to this email from a Baltimore listener: "Good morning. Please forgive the stark phrasing. I love NPR but am becoming desperate at the lack of context and institutional knowledge in the morning rush for 'experts.'"

Robert Siegel's voice and signature reporting have been an essential part of NPR since he first arrived in Washington in 1976. He has been with NPR for more than 40 years, a constant presence in our newsroom and a familiar voice to so many listeners. After one of the most storied careers in NPR's history, Robert has decided to step down as the host of All Things Considered in January 2018.

Robert Siegel, whose career with NPR has spanned more than four decades, will be stepping down as co-host of NPR's All Things Considered next year.

One of the most distinctive voices on NPR's airwaves, Siegel will be leaving the host's chair in January 2018. He has hosted the show for 30 years.

Increasing the racial and ethnic diversity of NPR's newsroom staff is a publicly acknowledged priority from top management on down. But in 2016, NPR made virtually no progress in changing the makeup of its staff.

Dave Kaleta grew up in Chicago. Local NPR Member station WBEZ was a constant soundtrack at home and during car rides with his parents. He still remembers loving the 1980s Star Wars radio-drama. Among intergalactic radio stories, he also loved playing with LEGO bricks.

"Bias" was the label most applied to emails that came in to the Ombudsman Office in March (we try to label the vast majority of emails by concern).

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