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In recent weeks, listeners have written with many concerns about NPR's coverage of Planned Parenthood. Funding for the organization has received renewed political scrutiny following the drip-drip-drip release beginning in July of highly-edited sting videos, which critics say show organization employees selling fetal tissue; Planned Parenthood officials say the tissue has been donated, not sold.

When listeners aren't writing to NPR to comment on a story, they mostly just want to know what music was played between segments. We call those buttons or breaks or deadrolls, and they give a breath after reporting a tragedy, lighten the mood after you most definitely cried during StoryCorps, or seize a moment to be ridiculously cheeky. How could you not play Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" following a story about why women shiver in the office?

Hundreds of thousands of people around the globe have been on the move in recent months, fleeing war, persecution, and poverty. NPR correspondents have been on the scene, with compelling accounts from the beaches of Greece and makeshift camps in France and, last spring, from Southeast Asia.

 UPDATED Sept. 15, 2016: KGOU has discontinued use of the streaming player described in this article. The current player in use is a product of Triton Digital.  For problems, please contact us.

UPDATED July 7, 2016: Anti-virus software installed on your computer can interfere with the new player. In particular, Sophos, the software used on University of Oklahoma computers, is known to interfere.

Original post:

I came back from a few days away to a barrage of emails from supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Join the SciFri Book Club This Summer

Aug 7, 2015

The SciFri Book Club is back in session! Last winter, we ventured deep into the gnat-infested Amazon jungle with David Grann’s tale of Victorian-era exploration, The Lost City of Z. This time, the only bugs are in the hardware. Join us as we read Tracy Kidder’s true story of computer engineering heroism, The Soul of a New Machine.

When Animals Talk, NPR Listens

Jul 30, 2015

Did you catch what just came out of that critter's mouth? What does it all mean?!

Listen, and listen closely. NPR has been decoding the rich, sonic communication between living creatures: the songs of whales, the call of a cricket, the chirp of a treehopper (a cousin of the cicada). And now you can tune into this wild world of "unheard" conversations.

How We Work: A Week In The Ombudsman's Office

Jul 29, 2015

Editor's Note: Elizabeth is out of the office this week. In the interim, we thought it was a good time to answer readers who have been asking about our process. Here's a look at how we operate in the Ombudsman's office.

In Fall 2012, NPR began gathering data for a three-year research project looking at the race/ethnicity, gender, and geographic location of its sources, the people who are interviewed or quoted on air and on the web site (from officials to experts to people involved in news events, or with opinions about them.) In addition to gathering data, The Sourcing Project, as it is known, has also included experiments to try to improve the diversity of those sources.

David Greene's Wednesday Morning Edition interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew some emails of concern from listeners about its content, but it is the complaints about the interview's form that I want to address here.

Daniel Rosen's was one of a number of emails I received:

Listeners have questions about NPR staffing, some vital missing information in two reports, and a voice that was lacking in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage. Herewith, some answers.

All Things Considered, NPR's flagship evening news program, is expanding its lineup of hosts: Ari Shapiro and Kelly McEvers will join veterans Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish on weekdays, and Michel Martin will become the new host of the weekend show.

Over the weekend, the left-of-center "media watch group" known as FAIR, for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, sent out an "Action Alert" with the headline "NPR Celebrates Fast-Track Victory With an All-Corporate Lobbyist Segment." The alert generated a number of emails to my office (many from people who clearly had not listened to or read the report in question.)

After more than 12 years anchoring All Things Considered, senior host Melissa Block is moving into an expanded role with NPR News. As Special Correspondent, Melissa will produce richly reported profiles of figures at the forefront of thought and culture, as well as long-form stories and series on the critical issues of our day. Her reporting will span both domestic and international news. In addition, Melissa will guest host NPR news programs, and will work to develop podcasts based on her reporting. Melissa's last day hosting ATC will be August 14, 2015.

This week, NPR reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs failed to live up to a promise to contact 4,000 veterans who were exposed to mustard gas in secret military experiments. In 1993, the VA promised it would reach out to each of those veterans to let them know that they were eligible for disability benefits. Instead, over the past 20 years, the VA reached out to only 610.

Is the killing of nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C. on Wednesday night "terrorism" and should NPR be calling it such?

You've been put on notice, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

John Moore of Decatur, Ga., wrote to NPR: "Everyone is allowed one mulligan, and you just had yours."

Moore, who admits he might be an "NPR snob," was referring to the show's "Not My Job" guest appearance this past weekend of—gasp!!!—Kim Kardashian, where she was invited to promote her new book, Selfish, 448 pages of photographs of herself.

Another week, another Bernie Sanders column. And this time the issue is far more serious than repeatedly being called a "long shot."

The plaintive email came into my office Wednesday night from Joseph Suste of Medford, Ore. In total, it read: "Why isn't NPR covering the Bernie Sanders campaign?"

My even shorter answer? NPR is (although Suste has lots of company among listeners who believe the coverage is missing). But other listener questions need a fuller answer.

When award-winning journalists look back on their early forays in reporting, it's rare to hear that their j-school work helped get wrongfully-convicted men off of death row and led to a moratorium on capital punishment in the state where the inmates had been indicted. Laura Sullivan, a correspondent on NPR's Investigations team, did just that and has continued digging for truth and justice in the time since.

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