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This space includes commentary from the NPR Ombudsman, Elizabeth Jensen, the public's representative to NPR who serves as an independent source regarding NPR's programming.

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.

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.

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.

NPR's Associate Editor for News Operations, Jim Lesher, died this morning at the age of 46, after a swift and debilitating battle with stomach cancer. He is survived by his mother Anne Lesher, his father James Lesher Sr., his sister Kathryn Nash and two nephews, Christopher and Sean, along with his extended family at NPR.

For more than two decades, Lesher worked tirelessly behind the scenes coordinating logistics so that NPR not only was heard, but also sounded its very best. He was incredibly proud of his work, and he had good reason to be.

This post has been updated below.

NPR hosts, correspondents, producers and contributors write an awful lot of books, many of them eagerly anticipated by listeners who turn them into bestsellers. But I believe NPR should not routinely help their cause by featuring the books on air and online. NPR's new top news executive concurs, in part, particularly when it comes to show hosts discussing their own outside projects on their own shows.

KGOU's website is in transition today to a more mobile-friendly design, so that all the features available on KGOU.org can go with you wherever you go! This new "responsive" design optimizes the layout of each webpage according to the size of the viewer's screen.

The layout on a desktop or laptop computer has just a few changes -- the live audio stream is still accessible from the top of the screen, although now it's on the right side. The navigation bar underneath has just had a little facelift, and the news content flows underneath.

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