This is KGOU

How we do what we do

Results are in from the third year of NPR's sourcing project—designed to understand and ultimately improve the gender, geographic, and racial and ethnic diversity of people heard on NPR as outside sources of news and opinion. The news is mixed.

In fiscal year 2015, which ended Sept. 30, there was a notable increase, compared to two years earlier, in the percentage of black sources, and an incremental, statistically insignificant increase in the share of female sources. Most disappointingly, there was virtually no change in the share of Latino sources.

Ending a run of more than 30 years on the air, talk show host Diane Rehm plans to retire, according to WAMU, the NPR member station where the show is produced in Washington, D.C.

Rehm's exit from the show will not take place immediately; she is expected to remain as its host through the 2016 presidential election. A date for her exit has not been established.

Following the Paris terrorist attacks on the evening of Nov. 13, my office heard from Wyoming listener Patrick D. Sheehy, who wrote, "Out here two time zones away from Washington DC...I am curious what level of news does it take to get NPR out of package mode and into special report mode." NPR's All Things Considered was still running a prerecorded piece about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, with only a brief Paris update, he wrote, adding, "I'm getting most of my news from a friend texting me from the Netherlands."

In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut, I've heard from a number of listeners who want NPR to start referring to the extremist group that has been identified by French authorities as the perpetrator by the name "Daesh."

Current NPR policy, as at many major English-language media outlets, is to refer to the group as "Islamic State" — which is a shortened version of the English translation of what it calls itself — with the option to add the caveats "self-described" or "self-declared."

The message below was sent by NPR's Senior Vice President of News and Editorial Director Michael Oreskes to the NPR News staff on Nov. 9. On Saturday, New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan referred to it on her blog. Her post was headlined "The Tricky Terrain of Virtual Reality."

The reaction to the headline on Danielle Kurtzleben's Nov. 5 online article about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ("We Read Donald Trump's New Book So You Don't Have To") was swift—and in my mind, deserved, and not just because the phrase has become cliché.

In early July, The Guardian reported that Exxon Mobil Corp., "the world's biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change – seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm's own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial."

NPR and WQXR, the New York City classical music station owned by New York Public Radio, said today they had identified 10 stories that included material plagiarized from 17 sources. The 10 stories had been posted jointly on the NPR Music and WQXR web sites since 2011, the most recent one on April 15. In addition, unattributed phrases in another story were caught last week, as it was being edited for publication. That story was not posted at NPR.org.

On Sept. 3, NPR's history dept. blog published an article with the headline "The 'Indian Cowboys' Of Florida," which looked at the ranching history of the Florida Native Americans known as Seminoles. The source of the information was Meredith M. Beatrice, the director of communications for the Florida Department of State (her title was not included in the piece).

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?

Pages