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This space includes commentary from the NPR Ombudsman, Elizabeth Jensen, the public's representative to NPR who serves as an independent source regarding NPR's programming.

NPR newsroom leaders have concluded their investigation into the work of a longtime freelance contributor, Danielle Karson, one month after they said they had discovered she had recycled sound bites in some of her radio reports.

Newsrooms aren't perfect. Trustworthy newsrooms, however, make adjustments (preferably quickly) when their errors are pointed out.

Earlier this summer, we shared an update about our ongoing work for the NPR App and invited app users to help us test and develop new features. Many of you responded, and we're incredibly thankful to those who did. Inspired by your insights and suggestions, we've been hard at work over the past few months improving the app experience, fixing bugs, and developing some features that we think you'll be excited about.

This office gets weekly complaints about what is perceived to be an imbalance in guests: There are too many Republicans interviewed and not enough Democrats. Or vice versa. Or a partisan from one side is interviewed without a corresponding counterpoint.

So I was pleased to see that NPR on Friday pulled back the curtain a bit about its attempts last week to book politicians to discuss the Paul Manafort verdict and the Michael Cohen guilty plea: The scarcity of Republican politicians, in this case (as occasionally happens with Democrats, too), wasn't for a lack of trying.

Morning Edition listeners will have noticed this week that the newscasts, or headlines, have moved around. Newscasts had aired each hour at 1 minute after the hour and again at 19 minutes and 42 minutes after the hour. Now, while there is the same amount of newscast time, it is grouped in just two breaks, at more intuitive times at the top and bottom of the hour — as was the case for most of Morning Edition's nearly four-decade history.

Sunday's "Unite the Right 2" rally across from the White House was a bust, when just a couple of dozen protesters turned up. But the outrage against NPR over its coverage leading up to the event will likely live for a long time.

Sept. 11, 2018:

NPR has finished reviewing the work done for it by freelance journalist Danielle Karson. The network examined all stories filed by her that are still available in its audio management system — 1,429 separate files from the years 2011 into 2018. As best as can be determined, all were short reports for the NPR Newscasts that are broadcast once or twice an hour throughout the day.

NPR said Friday that it discovered that a longtime freelance contributor, Danielle Karson, had recycled sound bites in more than two dozen reports that aired from 2011 until recently. NPR has handled the discovery, which was made by a producer and an editor, quickly and transparently, as it should.

Wildfires are ravaging hundreds of thousands of acres of the western United States and Canada this summer, taking lives and homes in California, closing parts of Yosemite National Park to visitors and racing through forests and grasslands in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and British Columbia. Smoke from those fires is causing breathing difficulties as far away as Maine.

'Adjusting Appropriately' To Words That Hurt

Aug 8, 2018

In recent weeks, the Ombudsman's Office received complaints from listeners and readers about a handful of specific words used by the newsroom. These listeners and readers argued that the words have racial histories that made them inappropriate.

This is an ongoing concern of NPR audience members: words that are in common usage, but that a growing number of people now understand have racial or ethnic roots that make them offensive to some, at least in some situations.

In a message to newsroom staff, Senior Supervising Editor of NPR's International Desk Will Dobson shared the following staffing update.

Everyone,

The Korean peninsula has seen no shortage of breaking news in recent months. So I regret that I must break the next piece of news: Elise Hu is leaving her post in Seoul.  

Behind the Stories features perspectives from the reporters, editors and producers who create NPR's content, offering insights into how and why they do what they do. For this post, we talked with Investigations Correspondent Howard Berkes about his recent work on "Black Lung Returns To Coal Country," a series he has reported off-and-on for years.

Last week, NPR released the fourth year of internal studies examining the diversity of its sources: people who are interviewed or quoted in stories, either on-air or online.

Late in 2015, this office released the third-year results of an internal NPR study examining the diversity of the outside sources heard on NPR's weekday radio newsmagazines. (Outside sources are the people interviewed and quoted by NPR; they do not include NPR's own reporters and hosts.) Now we have a fourth year of that analysis, this time looking at the makeup of the sources that NPR used in five online blogs during the 2016 fiscal year (Oct.

On June 30, NPR's Weekend All Things Considered aired a lighthearted World Cup piece discussing why the Brits use "football" and the Americans use "soccer" to refer to the same game. The subsequent debate this piece sparked has nothing to do with soccer and is not remotely lighthearted.

Update: Four days after this column was published, NPR changed its policy. According to a July 2 memo from Sara Goo, an NPR managing editor who oversees digital content, to the newsroom, "opinion content published on NPR.org must now include 'Opinion:' as the first word of the headline."

NPR Earns Five 2018 National Murrow Awards

Jun 22, 2018

The Radio Television Digital News Association announced today the 2018 National Edward R. Murrow Award recipients and NPR earned five awards, the most honors of any news outlet this year.

  • In the Radio Network category, NPR and National Correspondent John Burnett were recognized for continuing coverage and reporting of immigration stories.

Can NPR reduce the number of monthly mistakes it makes in half, by October? That's the newsroom's ambitious goal.

On Monday, referencing an error rate that he called "unacceptable," NPR's standards and practices editor Mark Memmott laid out a new newsroom system that he hopes will lead to fewer corrections.

It's hard to believe that it's been just two months since we introduced the new NPR app for iOS, the first major redesign of NPR's flagship news app since its creation nearly a decade ago.

We've heard from many of you about your experience using the app and we can't thank you enough for taking the time to offer your thoughtful feedback and questions. This launch was the product of many months of research, testing and development, but we can learn so much more now that our work is in the hands of more than a million active users.

With two suicides this week of well-known Americans, "best practices" for reporting such deaths are again relevant. NPR's reporting has mostly been exemplary, even as it has missed the mark at least twice.

A newscast at 4 p.m. ET Thursday reported the means by which fashion designer Kate Spade took her life; the 1 p.m. Friday newscast reported the same for Anthony Bourdain, the chef-turned-food journalist. The headline reports that start each hour are the most-heard NPR reports. Listeners complained about both reports.

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