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National Public Radio

National Public Radio (NPR) is a loosely-organized public radio network in the United States. NPR was created in 1970, following the passage of the Public Broadcasting Act in 1967 which established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and also led to the creation of the Public Broadcasting System. The network was founded on February 24, 1970 with 90 public radio stations as charter members.

Like its competitor, Public Radio International, NPR produces and distributes news and cultural programming. Its member stations are not required to broadcast all of these programs. Its flagship programs are two drive time news broadcasts, Morning Edition, and the afternoon All Things Considered; both are carried by nearly all NPR affiliates and in 2002 were the second- and third-most popular radio programs in the country. Morning Edition has been the network's most popular program since 1989.

Over the years, the portion of the total NPR budget the comes from government has been decreasing. During the 1970s and early 1980s, the majority of NPR funding came from the government (through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which also funds PBS). Steps were being taken during the 1980s to completely wean NPR from government support, but a major funding crisis in 1983, which almost led to the demise of the network, brought about more rapid shifts in NPR's funding setup. More money to fund the NPR network was raised from listeners, charitable foundations and corporations, and less from the government. Some citizens believe that any government funding is too much, while others believe the government should provide more funding to NPR to reduce corporate influence.

NPR member stations also receive charitable and government funding, but are famous for raising money through on-air pledge drives, during which programming is interrupted and listeners are encouraged to donate money to keep the station on the air.

In contrast to commercial radio, NPR carries very little advertising, except for brief statements from major donors. These statements are technically called underwriting spots, not commercials, but critics contend that there is little difference. Since NPR is not dependent on advertising revenue, it is largely free of the ratings-driven decision making of commercial media. The result is programming that advocates consider less sensationalistic than commercial media.

On November 6, 2003 NPR was given $200 million from the estate of the late Joan Kroc, the widow of Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds Corporation. In 2003 the annual budget of NPR was $100 million.

NPR's major production facilities have been based in Washington, D.C since its creation. On November 2, 2002, a west coast production facility, dubbed NPR West, was opened in Culver City, California. NPR opened NPR West to improve their coverage of the western United States, to expand their production capabilities (shows produced there include The Tavis Smiley Show and Day to Day), and to create a fully-functional backup production facility capable of keeping NPR on the air in the event of a catastrophe in Washington, D.C.

According to a 2003 Washington Monthly story, about 20 million listeners turn into NPR each week. On average they are 50-years-old, earn an income of $78,000, and about 10% are either African American or Hispanic. Many of its listeners consider NPR to be at the apex of journalistic integrity, while others claim that it has a liberal bias, lacks diversity, and still dependent on public funding.

Table of contents
1 Programs produced by NPR
2 Programs Distributed by NPR
3 Related Topics
4 External Link

Programs produced by NPR

News/Public Affairs Programs

NPR produces a morning and an afternoon news program, both of which also have weekend editions with different hosts. It also produces hourly news briefs around the clock, and World Radio Network, a daily compilation of news reports from international radio news.

Cultural Programming

Programs Distributed by NPR

Popular shows distributed by NPR include
Terry Gross's interview show Fresh Air and WBUR's Car Talk, starring Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers (a.k.a. Tom and Ray Magliazzi).

Related Topics

External Link