Archive for March 10, 2011
This morning, The Today Show on NBC ran a three-minute video feature on the controversy surrounding National Public Radio.
Two days ago, the conservative activist James O’Keefe had released video showing a fundraiser for NPR making remarks about conservatives, which set off a public relations nightmare, resulting in the resignation of the organizations CEO, Vivian Schiller.
NPR is one of several organizations such as the Public Broadcasting Service, American Public Media, American Public Television, and Public Radio International that are partially funded by taxpayers. Despite doing of some of its best work in the last decade and a half, there have been increasing calls for the U.S. government to stop paying into it.
But as public media has been doing a better job at investigative reporting, long-form pieces on the society and the economy, and news with context and perspective, it contrasts with slashing cuts at newspapers and network news.
The Today Show story this morning, for example, didn’t qualify as even a good “story.” It failed to cite the source of an audio clip calling NPR out on liberal bias. It also aired a clip taken from Sesame Street — which is not a National Public Radio product.
The story was narrated by someone who is labeled as a “chief investigative correspondent,” but the talking head did not appear to do any investigation whatsoever. There was a failure to point out whether the fundraiser told the truth during his interview with O’Keefe, whether or not actual money changed hands, and whether or not the tape O’Keefe made was unedited.
It was a shoddy piece.
And it is a gift-wrapped reason why the public still needs public media.