While searching for more NPR / Ken Stern articles today, I stumbled across a blog post that refers to the news, but spends much more time listing the crimes and misdemeanors of the current public radio landscape, especially as emanating from NPR and other national outlets (APM, PRI, etc.).
Written by Dave Slusher, Public Radio Fails Me explores at length the ways in which Slusher was first captured by public broadcasting and especially public radio many years ago. But it goes on to lambaste public radio for what he feels its become — populist when it comes to cash, elitist when it comes to control, and tired when it comes to programming.
Written by any person on the street, it’s a damning indictment of some of public radio’s (perceived) trends over the past 10 years or so. But this was not written by any random man on the street — it’s written by a man with experience inside the system as a producer as well as consumer.
While I’m not entirely in agreement with Slusher, I do think there are some truths in there with which public radio (and all of public media) must seriously grapple. Slusher’s comments on the changes in the flagship NPR newsmagazines in particular I find fairly accurate. Of course, those changes may account for the doubling in NPR’s weekly audience over the past 10 years. But it’s definitely changed, and for those with an interest in deeper news coverage, it’s not all positive changes.
In any case, it’s a long post but worth a read and a comment at his site, whatever your opinions.