Mar
16
2009

NPR Can (but Doesn't) 'Take a Lesson' from Jon Stewart

When NPR ombud Alicia Shepard commented on an NPR blog that "we can all take a lesson from" Jon Stewart because "he holds people in power accountable for what they say"–this being her "definition of a good journalist"–Matthew Murrey, AKA NPR Check blogger Mytwords, couldn't resist asking "So when will Shepard hold the NPR journalists to such a standard?" Mytwords' challenge of Shepard "(or anyone for that matter) to show any examples in the last 10 years where NPR's main news shows… 'held people in power accountable'" was met by one reader (3/15/09) who had

only heard one instance of NPR actually standing up to spin by an interviewee: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15046448

I've never heard anything like it since, and I listen almost every day.

As I recall, there were tons of people who wrote in letters showing support and calling for more: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15198525

Mytwords is encouraged "that listeners seem to be hungry for a higher quality of reporting even though it's rare on NPR"–but the sad fact is that after "carefully critiquing NPR for almost three years," Mytwords has found "NPR News consistently echoes and champions the opinions and assertions of the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and free market corporatism."