This is KGOU

How we do what we do

Since we began KGOU's fall fundraising campaign we've heard from many listeners who love this new approach we're taking, and others who aren't so crazy about it.

Most listeners get it–that this is the way public radio is funded: listeners donate to the local station and the local station pays for its operations and sends some to the networks, NPR and the others, for the rights to carry network shows.

How do we get that message to listeners in a way that won't make them want to (gasp) listen to another station, or turn off the radio altogether?

This week's email brought a large number of complaints about Emily Harris's Oct. 13 All Things Considered report in which she interviewed the families of two Palestinian teenagers who were accused of attacking Israelis.

I apologize for that clickbait-y headline–as a public media connoisseur, you expect and deserve better. But I need your attention for an important announcement:

I'm still catching up on issues that were raised by listeners in recent weeks while I was traveling. Here's one: a question of whether NPR needs to put a disclosure on each and every story about climate change.

This post is not going to name the shooter who killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., last week and then took his own life. But that does not mean I believe NPR should not name him.

If you've been listening or reading this website for awhile, then you know that KGOU is actively raising money right now to fund our work into the future. You've heard or seen our pleas for you, the consumer, to invest in more of KGOU's service. Many of you have already answered, and if so, thank you.

But, being the curious type, you have questions. You might ask, "What are they going to spend my money on – beer and pizza? Office chairs with built-in massage? Solid gold paper clips? Limousines driving reporters to news stories?"

When Wednesday Morning Edition sports commentator Frank Deford was off the air for a couple weeks in June, several of his longtime admirers wrote my office with concern, to ask when he would be back. But the emails-- and tweets and a column from a rival news organization--weren't so generous following his appearance this week.

In my first post on this topic, I highlighted some of the concerns that NPR audience members have raised about the network's on-air and online coverage of climate change and the environment. This follow-up post gives my own views and talks about a couple potentially very positive new NPR initiatives.

This office fields listener and reader concerns about a wide range of issues, but, in the seven months I have been on the job, NPR's coverage of the environment and climate change has been among the top topics. It is clear that many in the audience expect NPR to be a leader covering climate news. And NPR should lead; as one of the nation's largest news sources it is only fitting that it devote serious time and attention to one of the most important and controversial issues of our day.

Need help finding an NPR story that you heard on air? Want to contact an NPR show, staff member or the NPR Ombudsman? Have books or music that you want to submit for a review? Itching to pitch a story idea?