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A case of unfortunate timing this past weekend had some listeners seeing a plot where none existed.

Deadline Poetry

Feb 27, 2015

For late Friday, a couple items from the mailbag. I'm not going to weigh in except to say that in my first month here I've found NPR's journalists to be very open to discussing questions about their work. I find it's often helpful to see how journalistic decisions are made; you can judge for yourselves.

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

It's a day that we wish held no particular significance, but April 19, 1995 is etched in many Oklahomans' memory banks as the most horrific day in state history.

It started out as an ordinary day, or maybe some of us had plans to make it not so ordinary -- maybe a birthday or anniversary, a day off work or some other anticipated happening that would signify a break from routine.

A story in the Washington Post, posted online on Feb. 14 and on the Feb. 15 front page, detailed how Diane Rehm "is becoming one of the country's most prominent figures in the right-to-die debate." Rehm is the longtime, well-respected host of the midday talk and call-in program, The Diane Rehm Show, which originates at Washington, D.C. station WAMU-FM.

Reader Richard Sloatberg of San Diego, Calif. wrote to ask why Ann Powers, a NPR Music correspondent, was "allowed to plug her husband's book," without a note explaining their relationship, on NPR's music news blog, The Record. Sloatberg was referring to this Feb.

After considerable discussion, we have decided to end the practice of posting an Open Forum each month. They were started at a time when my predecessor wasn't posting often, while he was working on a lengthy project. My intention is to get back to having more frequent posts, which will offer more opportunities for more focused commenting.

We'd like to move the broader discussions of NPR's journalism, ethics and standards to social media. We hope this will make it easier to hold conversations focused on single topics, rather than the jumble of issues that come up in each forum.

Correcting An 'American Legacy'

Feb 11, 2015

It's never too late to make a correction, especially when fraud may be involved.

I'm a little over two weeks into my tenure as NPR's ombudsman. That's about 200 emails to the ombudsman, a couple dozen tweets from listeners and one anonymous letter that complained in part about PBS (a separate organization.) For those of you who have sent words of welcome, thank you.

Last Thoughts: NPR And The Balance Between Ethics And The Nation

Feb 6, 2015

Editor's Note: My predecessor, Edward Schumacher-Matos, has been reflecting on his tenure as NPR's Ombudsman, which ended Jan. 31. Here is his final column. I'll begin posting here soon. - Elizabeth

If I am unethical, then so be it.

NPR Launches A New Podcast Directory

Jan 26, 2015

Today, we're rolling out a new podcast directory on, and we're excited to have a beautiful new home to showcase all of the podcasts from the NPR family.