NPR Suspends Writer Who Criticized It

Uri Berliner, an NPR employee who penned a withering critique against the network for a lack of “viewpoint diversity,” has been suspended for five days without pay, NPR reports. The suspension began last Friday.  

Berliner, an editor on NPR’s business desk, accused NPR of losing the public’s trust in an essay and appeared on a podcast to express his view, NPR continues.  

Berliner’s essay – and the subsequent fallout – have caused a media firestorm.  

“It angered many of his colleagues, led NPR leaders to announce monthly internal reviews of the network's coverage, and gave fresh ammunition to conservative and partisan Republican critics of NPR, including former President Donald Trump,” NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik writes. 

In addition, conservatives have been lashing out at NPR’s chief executive, Katherine Maher, for messages she posted years ago before joining the network, calling Trump racist and defending social justice protests, Folkenflik continues.



NPR specifies that the CEO is not involved in editorial decisions. 

Berliner’s article, titled "I've Been at NPR for 25 years. Here's How We Lost America's Trust," appeared on the online news site The Free Press 

His articles states, “In D.C., where NPR is headquartered and many of us live, I found 87 registered Democrats working in editorial positions and zero Republicans." 

In an interview with Folkenflik, Berliner said he tried repeatedly to make his concerns over NPR's coverage known to news leaders and to Maher's predecessor as chief executive before publishing his essay.

"I love NPR and feel it's a national trust," Berliner said. "We have great journalists here. If they shed their opinions and did the great journalism they're capable of, this would be a much more interesting and fulfilling organization for our listeners."

But at the same time, NPR has defended itself and instituted this disciplinary action.  

Last week, NPR’s chief news executive, Edith Chapin, wrote that NPR believes that “inclusion – among our staff, with our sourcing, and in our overall coverage – is critical to telling the nuanced stories of this country and our world."


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