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inTune Station Blog

From Neil Best's Desk

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Dear Friends,

KUNC has been connected to National Public Radio since the first day that All Things Considered was broadcast in 1971.   I have been proud of the association over the years, and there are many broadcast moments, areas of coverage, and commitment by the national reporting staff that I could point to with that pride.

This month I want to touch on the commitment NPR continues to make to ensure the public has a representative focused on presenting an outsider’s perspective to the staff and management who make up the NPR newsroom.   In an era when many news organizations have abandoned the concept of a public editor, NPR President Jarl Mohn has been steadfast in believing we are all better served by creating a space where our concerns are heard and where there is measured feedback given to the staff.

This is how the public editor’s position is described on the NPR website:

“The Public Editor's office serves primarily as a liaison between the newsroom and listeners, to make the newsroom leaders aware of how listeners feel and help listeners understand why the newsroom makes the decisions it does. We investigate listener concerns and issues of journalism ethics and often suggest changes. The Public Editor has no management authority, however; the newsroom can take our suggestions (or not). We don't speak for the newsroom or for NPR—just for ourselves—and we don't have the power to print a correction or set policy. Listeners and readers often write with questions about underwriting or management issues, but, unless they touch on the newsroom functions, those areas are outside our purview.”

Since 2015 NPR’s Public Editor has been Elizabeth Jensen, and you can meet Elizabeth in Boulder on Saturday, August 24th and ask her any questions you may have about NPR’s standards of journalism, the issues of bias, language choices and whatever else is on your mind. Elizabeth will be joined by Vanessa Otero, founder of the Media Bias Chart and KUNC’s Erin O’Toole.

I look forward to seeing you on the 24th.

Warm Regards,

Neil Best 
President & CEO