National Public Radio exposed from the inside

Uri Berliner has exposed National Public Radio (NPR) as a partisan and ideologically driven organization which has lost its journalistic integrity and the trust of America. 

The article is even more striking upon learning that Berliner is a senior business editor and reporter at NPR, and the recipient of several journalistic awards to include a Peabody Award, a Loeb Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and a Society of Professional Journalists New America Award, among others.  

People with Berliner’s experience are qualified to make the judgement he has made against his employer, and he pulled no punches.

“An open-minded spirit no longer exists within NPR, and now, predictably, we don’t have an audience that reflects America. 

That wouldn’t be a problem for an openly polemical news outlet serving a niche audience. But for NPR, which purports to consider all things, it’s devastating both for its journalism and its business model.” 

According to Berliner, things began to change at NPR around the time of President Trump’s first term.  He observed a shift away from reporting unbiased information to blatant attempts at influencing readers and listeners about “what they should think.”

And it didn’t end with coverage of President Trump. 

Berliner described 4 more major storylines since “Russiagate,” including Hunter Biden’s laptop, COVID origin coverage, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in a post George Floyd America, and the recent conflict in Gaza as evidence of NPR’s failures to uphold journalistic integrity.

In describing how pervasive the progressive bent to NPR storylines has become, Berliner stated,

“There’s an unspoken consensus about the stories we should pursue and how they should be framed. It’s frictionless—one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies. It’s almost like an assembly line.”

Berliner wondered why such a shift had occurred, so he looked at voter registration for the newsroom headquarters in Washington DC.  He found eighty-seven (87) registered Democrats in the newsroom, and zero (0) Republicans. 

As a result, Berliner lamented, readers and listeners of NPR are not getting anything close to balanced information.  Instead, they are getting “the distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population.”  

While Beliner’s article was as brave as it was pointed, it was clearly written to influence someone who can bring about change. NPR has hired a new CEO, and Berliner no doubt hopes his article will set the stage for change at NPR.  He ends his article with this bit of advice for his new boss:  NPR’s first rule of thumb should be to “stop telling people what to think.”

Let’s hope Berliner succeeds.