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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.

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).

The critical emails came in after Sebastian Gorka's first interview on NPR, and then after his second interview and after his third.

Starting today, NPR is changing the always-sensitive ways in which its newsroom learns about and deals with current and potential funders: the foundations, individuals and companies whose grants, major donations and sponsorships provide much of the money to make NPR's work possible. The changes are intended to bring more transparency about funders to the public and avoid the kinds of slipups that raised serious concerns last May about NPR's coverage of the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal.

The Ombudsman's office heard this week and last from listeners with varying concerns around how NPR covers major appearances by President Donald Trump. We took them to the newsroom for reaction.

Journalism that covers political and civic affairs is in the midst of an extraordinary period of challenge.

The Splendid Table logo
APM

American Public Media has announced that award-winning New York Times Magazine columnist and Top Chef Masters judge Francis Lam will become the new host of The Splendid Table. After 21 seasons, Lynne Rossetto Kasper is retiring at the end of 2017 and will continue to contribute to the program throughout the year until her retirement. Lam will host his first show March 10.

Last weekend was a very busy one for the NPR newsroom. Between the Inauguration of President Donald Trump and the massive Women's March demonstrations, there was no shortage of news. We heard from listeners and readers about all aspects of NPR's live coverage of Inauguration weekend, including a number of concerns that NPR did not adequately cover the Women's March.

Listener Diane McLean of Allyn, Wash., is one who didn't hear as much about the march as she would have hoped:

I was taken aback to wake up Wednesday to a Morning Edition report about why NPR is not using the word "lie" to "characterize the statements of President Trump when they are at odds with evidence to the contrary," as a separate post on NPR's Two-Way blog put it.

In June 2016, David Gilkey, an NPR photojournalist, and Zabihullah Tamanna, NPR's Afghan interpreter and also a journalist, were killed while on assignment for NPR in Afghanistan. Their deaths in the field — when their armored Humvee, driven by a Afghan National Army soldier, was hit by heavy weapons fire — marked a sad first for NPR in its more than 45 years on the air.

In mid-December, NPR's website ran a story about the CIA's conclusion "that Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump win." The story had this headline: "The Russian Hacking Kerfuffle: What We Do and Don't Know." The story was fine. But it was most definitely not about a simple "kerfuffle," which Merriam-Webster defines as a "disturbance, fuss." "Kerfuffle" was later replaced in the headline with the better word "controversy."

The message below was sent by NPR's Senior Vice President of News and Editorial Director Michael Oreskes to the NPR News staff on Jan. 17.

The right of working journalists to do their jobs should not be up for debate when a new administration takes office (or at any other time). But it disturbingly seems to be.

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