Tuesday, March 5, 2013

This is NPR. This is News.

This is NPR is an important article that focuses on the standards, requirements, and expectations that NPR has for all of its articles, journalist, and employees.  Since the author is NPR itself, the main goal of this publication is quite obvious.  It is to convince the audience that when NPR publishes an article or cites a fact on a radio program, the audience can be rest-assured that the information given is both reliable and trustworthy.  According to a study cited in Poytner.org, NPR is considered to give its readers and viewers the most accurate and informed information than new sources such as MSNBC, Fox News, and other large news outlets.  This makes the listener or reader feel more comfortable reading or listening to the program that results in more revenue for NPR.  In addition, this article was published as written form of expectations of the quality of work that journalists, personality hosts, and employees working for NPR must adhere to.  If a person does that adhere to these standards that are listed in this handbook, there will be significant consequences. 

The handbook that this article was written in was revised in 2010, which turned out to be a year of controversy for NPR.  An NPR new analyst Juan Williams was fired in 2010 amid racist comments he made against Muslims on the Fox News program “The O’Reilly Factor.”  It is safe to assume that this handbook and this article was revised in response to the Williams’ controversy which left a black eye for the NPR news organization.  Another pressure that might have constituted this handbook and article being written is the issue of funding for the NPR program.  NPR does funding of some type from the federal government.  Because of the economic recession, government officials are looking for programs to reduce funding for.  This article might have been written as a way to state the importance of the NPR new network as a reliable, excellent, and trustworthy news source worthy of continual funding from the government. 

There are many techniques that are used in order for this article to appeal to the readers.  The article has somewhat of a declaration and constitutional feel to it, which may appeal to the taxpayers that, in part, fund NPR.  The article uses terms such as “must” and “will” that appeal to the reader in ways that make the reader feel confident that NPR means what it says and will uphold each and every element of the organization to the highest standard. 
The publication of this article is a promise to the consumers of NPR’s programs and articles that the information being displayed is accurate and reliable.  It makes the case that NPR is one of the only new sources that should be trusted to be objective in all stories and through in reporting both sides of the argument or debate.  In the conclusion of the article, the author states that this statement is “…intended not only to serve as a guide, but also to provoke ongoing discussion and deliberation….” I think this is true for almost all news organizations.  It is the one that can prove it effectively and consistently that will ultimately gain the most readership and subscribers.  

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130712737 (Williams Firing)
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2011-03-10-NPR10_CV_N.htm (Funding)
http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/174826/survey-nprs-listeners-best-informed-fox-news-viewers-worst-informed/ (NPR reliability vs other news outlets)

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