Wednesday, April 01, 2015

NPR re-focusing attention on winning over audiences with creative, fact-based journalism

The Internet has created a vast source of news outlets, a large number of which focus on celebrities, sensationalism, sports and entertainment. And that's exactly why NPR CEO Jarl Mohn feels now is the right time for NPR, which has had its fair share of layoffs, to flourish by taking advantage of its connection to a diverse audience that craves news stories.

"With 34 bureaus, evenly split between domestic and international, NPR News is a fixture for many Americans, a dependable daily friend," reports Ken Doctor for Capital. Mohn, who was hired nine months ago, told Doctor, “Most of the world is moving away from fact-based journalism. That creates a lot of opportunity for us in public radio. The world has enough sources of info about Kim Kardashian.”

NPR has about 1,500 journalists, but some have expressed concern about the quality of reporting, Doctor writes. "NPR’s own staff sets a national standard for serious, if often entertaining, national coverage; local coverage can be as good but often flags in reporting smarts, voice and quality. Anyone who has ever listened to local public radio traveling across the country can recognize the great disparities in reporting. Closing that gap is central to the next generation of NPR News—and public radio itself."

That's where Michael Oreskes comes in, Doctor writes. Hired to run NPR news operations, Oreskes will have to find a way to manage money—funding for new initiatives, beats and projects—while meshing a legacy/digital mix to its news success. As he said in a first interview, "NPR’s success will be found 'grabbing [audience] attention with stories told in creative new ways.'” (Read more)

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