Hanif on Media

News Media, New Media, Politics, Culture & Spiritual Perspectives from South Florida to Infinity.

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WSJ: Going digital on NPR (not Natl Public Radio)

June 9th · No Comments · ONO, Organization of News Ombudsmen

Thanks to my dear friend Bob Ashmore for alerting me to The Wall Street Journal’s eighth D: All Things Digital conference. NPR President Vivian Schiller’s comments (with video here and here), are especially noteworthy for longtime NPR listeners.

Here in South Florida, many listeners are concerned about the future of NPR-affiliated WXEL radio and TV. Included are we jazz fans who would love to have WXEL join Miami’s WLRN, and many other other NPR affiliates, in featuring on a daily basis not only European classical, but also America’s classical music and original art form.

In another aside: The D8 reporting provided a reminder that in “journalism,” source still makes a difference. NPR hosted some sessions of  last year’s international Organization of News Ombudsmen conference in Washington, D.C.  Included was an opportunity to tour NPR’s Massachusetts Avenue recording studios and observe a taping of its flagship “All Things Considered.” During one of our sessions, I told NPR execs that as a nearly four-decade listener I consider NPR a national treasure. But I also was compelled to mention the embarrassing lack of diversity in the building. The fact that we were in a “Chocolate City” such as overwhelmingly African-American D.C. only underscored such questions as the “digital divide” going forward, and whether news organizations such as the WSJ and NPR will better reflect, in their staffing and reporting, the so-called “majority minority” nation we are fast becoming.

Schiller’s comments don’t suggest much has changed. The lack of diversity in our too-often disappointing news media apparently didn’t come up in the D8 interview.

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