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The 75th annual Peabody Awards were announced Tuesday and honored NPR, This American Life and PBS NewsHour , among others. The awards recognize excellence in electronic media, and are granted to both journalism and entertainment programs. NPR's Investigations Unit was recognized for a series on mustard gas testing during World War II — specifically, secret race-based gas tests and how the Department of Veterans Affairs broke a promise to help the men who had been the subjects of those tests....

In a recent column I suggested that NPR's election coverage would benefit from occasionally stepping back from the day in, day out, "horse race" of the campaign trail, with its focus on who is up or down in the polls and in fundraising, and the latest gaffe or candidate spat. Many listeners in their letters to me say they want much more of a focus on where candidates stand on the issues, and on fact checking. Following that column, Michael Oreskes, NPR's senior vice president of news and...

Should NPR have published a review of a controversial book? And are the details in a new NPR podcast so detailed as to be irresponsible? Those were among the non-politics issues raised by listeners and readers in the last couple of weeks. Here are a few of the letters we have received and responses from the newsroom. A couple of readers wrote to me, and many more weighed in vociferously in the comments and on Twitter, about an online review of the new book Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally...

Too Much Trump

Apr 5, 2016

For weeks the letters have streamed in from listeners unhappy about the amount of time NPR is devoting to all things Donald Trump. But to my mind, NPR reached its own "peak Trump" last Friday when — no fooling — Morning Edition featured three political stories: one about Trump's approach to foreign policy , one about Trump calling in to a radio show and one about how Ted Cruz is gaining on Trump in the battle for Wisconsin primary voters. Another story about Trump's standing with women ran...

An email came recently from listener Stephen K. Reeder from Cerritos, Calif.: "In the interest of fairness in the 2016 Democratic Primary, I have a request. There is a selectively edited clip of NPR's Weekend Edition , 1/13/1996, featuring an interview with then First Lady, and current Democratic Presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton. You can hear the clip on YouTube, and it has been linked from numerous websites, and has appeared in my personal Facebook feed about 11 times. The...

Tensions between the needs of terrestrial radio, the foundational base of NPR, and digital distribution, its future in some form or other, may not always be apparent to most NPR listeners and readers. But they are never far from the surface these days in the public radio system and do occasionally rise to public notice — such as in the disconnect that some listeners now feel when they hear archived newscasts in the personalized mobile app NPR One that start with the word "Live," though they...

Morning Edition listeners heard an awkward exchange this morning between regular Monday commentator Cokie Roberts and David Greene, one of the hosts. As part of Roberts' usual commentary, the two discussed Roberts' role at NPR. The short version of that part of the conversation? She is a commentator , not a reporter or a senior news analyst under contract (her previous title). She has not been a full-time staff member at NPR since 1992. Why does that matter? Because NPR commentators and...

From Mike Oreskes: Commentators And Politics

Mar 14, 2016

The message below was sent by NPR's Senior Vice President of News and Editorial Director Michael Oreskes to the NPR News staff. From: Michael Oreskes
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2016
Subject: Commentators and Politics Colleagues, Donald Trump's candidacy has driven a wedge, as political consultants say, into various parts of American society. He has divided the Republican Party, as we can all see. He has also stirred debate in journalism. Some journalists and news organizations...

Election related concerns continue to roll in to the Ombudsman's office, as is to be expected in any election year, and even more so when the rhetoric and anxieties are as heightened as they are in this cycle. Many of them are being forwarded to the newsroom, but one interesting issue arose that seemed particularly worthy of a public airing. "It is Super Tuesday, a critical day in the nominating process for both parties and ALL candidates," wrote Ohio listener Susan Kamp on March 1. "During...

Craig Windham, a voice familiar to many NPR listeners, died unexpectedly last night of a pulmonary embolism. He was 66. Windham was an award-winning journalist who covered presidential campaigns, hurricanes, earthquakes and the first Persian Gulf War. More recently, he focused on anchoring and reporting for NPR's Newscasts. In less than 40 seconds, Windham could explain the intricacies of a complicated bill or capture the glory of a space shuttle flying over the nation's capital. "Craig...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGnCvLPZm84 Oh, you didn't hear? Turns out Friday was our birthday. On that day, precisely 46 years ago, this little organization of ours was incorporated under the name National Public Radio. Yes, we're aware already that your gift must be in the mail. (Right?) And yes, thank you, we are easing into our middle age with charm and aplomb. (Ahem — right?) At any rate, we were also blown away by the love you all showed us on Facebook and Twitter. So much so, in...

A Kansas listener, Michael Campbell, wrote to my office after hearing remarks made by NPR's longtime legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg on the NPR Politics podcast . Totenberg, speaking about the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, said this in response to a question about when she first met Scalia: "I think I first met him actually he was an assistant attorney general, but my first recollection, really vivid recollection, was I took him to a White House Correspondents...

An addendum of sorts to last week's column on NPR's move to add more live interviews to its newsmagazines: Sometimes that makes for messy journalism. Steve Inskeep's Tuesday Morning Edition interview with Jamie Wareham , a top fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, was refreshingly honest. On the record and off the cuff, Wareham — who, as NPR reported, helped raise millions of dollars for the Right to Rise superPAC supporting Bush — flung colorful insults at other...

Earlier this month, NPR started introducing many of its newscasts with the words "Live from NPR News in Washington." (Or, "Live from NPR News in Culver City, California," the West Coast production center where it has now stationed an All Things Considered newscaster , Dwane Brown.) The word "live" was new, and listeners noticed. Some have reacted positively but not all are happy, as with any change at NPR. "Who thought it necessary to have your broadcasters utter the word 'live' before the...

KGOU listener Keith Gaddie and his bulldog, Georgia.
Keith Gaddie

It’s Mardi Gras - a day of indulgence, parades, zydeco, and a celebration of all things New Orleans during annual Carnival celebrations that originate with the Christian period between Epiphany and Lent. KGOU (and our listeners) celebrated the season Sunday afternoon with The Weekend Blues ’ annual “Mardi Party” featuring music from the Crescent City and beyond.

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