Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Real Journalism
Listening to NPR this morning I realized that the biggest difference between interviews on that station versus interviews on the profit-driven cable news shows is the how much the host actually talks. On NPR they give most of the time to the interviewee to talk - it's about hearing from their expertise or experiences. On the cable news shows it's all about listening to the narcissistic host talk and berate and argue with his guests. The host ends up doing the majority of the talking, and often will cut off his guest before they even get to communicate anything substantive (something that almost never happens on NPR). The guests are just there as tools to enable the host to communicate their own agenda.

No wonder I prefer NPR.
posted by Mike Clawson at 9:20 AM | Permalink |


At 11/11/2008 09:51:00 AM, Anonymous Karl

Good observation. Are you familiar with Ken Myers' "Mars Hill Audio Journal?"

Ken Myers worked for NPR for 8 years, as arts and humanities editor for Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He went into Christian publishing and then Christian radio for a time, but was told he was "too creative for Christian radio" - surprise.

So he started his own thing - Mars Hill Audio - a monthly audio journal in much the same format as NPR, where he interviews a wide range of guests on fascinating topics.


Q. What does Mars Hill Audio do?

A. We produce programs that we distribute on audio-cassette or compact disc. The main production is the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, a 90-minute, bi-monthly “audio magazine” that we sell by subscription. Each 90-minute issue features 5 to 8 interviews dealing with a wide range of subjects, such as history, the visual arts, music, economics, literature, science, technology, and politics. (See “Editorial Policy” for further details.). We also produce:
MHA Conversations, a series of extended single-topic conversations with one or two people
MHA Anthologies, each of which consists of a selection of print articles (from magazines, journals, or books) on a single topic, read onto tape
MHA Reports, a series of extensive, in-depth “audio documentaries” dealing with a single topic
MHA Books on tape, on topics that are of particular interest to us, such as Gilbert Meilaender’s BioEthics: A Primer for Christians.


At 11/12/2008 12:21:00 PM, Blogger Rob

Totally agree--- NPR along with McNiel/Leher Report along with C-Span are the best places to get your news. Even the AP skews things. Fox News really needs to be listed as an entertainment channel for conservatives stuck in the 80's. However, I think honest critical review of the coverage selection and tone on CNN, MSNBC and the a lot of the national networks are not much better than Fox, just on a different side. I think if you had an major news agency with a major brand name it would be loathed by both sides- just like Jesus and the truth is usually received by polarized political followers of either end of the spectrum.

Hope things are going well for you and your fam there in Austin- gettin' cold up here in Chicago!

Rob Hager


At 11/15/2008 06:50:00 AM, Blogger A. S. Tatum

Haha...if you think that contrast is great, try listening to FOX NEWS talk radio for an hour and then switching to NPR. It's like switching from drinking bleach to drinking water...NPR is not toxic crap and that's why I love it!

Do you have a favorite show? Do you guys get any of the NC Public Radio shows like "The Story" or "The State of Things" or "Fresh Air?"


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