How NHPR and NPR Aim to Build Trust in Journalism
NHPR takes pride in the rigor of our journalism. We’re committed to news reporting that’s “fair, unbiased, accurate, complete and honest,” the principles described in our Code of Ethics. We aim to be transparent about our reporting practices, as with this article explaining how we’ve covered the midterm elections in New Hampshire. And we invite your questions and comments - including letting us know if you think we didn’t get a story right - by publishing details on how to contact us.
Beyond our local news report and the podcasts we make at NHPR, we’re your source for the best in public radio news reporting and programming from around the country. Much of what you hear on New Hampshire Public Radio or read here at NHPR.org is produced by our partners at NPR, one of the nation’s largest and most highly regarded news organizations.
Thoughtful people have argued for years about whether NPR’s national programming and journalism reflect a liberal bias. (On the Media produced a full hour on the question as long ago as 2012, still worth a listen.) People I respect - and who are loyal listeners to NHPR - share that concern.
As a lifelong journalist, my own view is that NPR reporters and editors strive just as hard as we do at NHPR to be fair and unbiased. We share a commitment to open-mindedness. So much media today starts from a political perspective and cherry-picks facts that make the predetermined case. Opinion masquerades as reporting. Not here. Public radio journalists don’t report a story with their minds made up about what it’s going to say.
Still, NPR’s editorial processes - the stories they produce, the editing of those stories, the focus of their special projects - are separate from ours at NHPR. We don’t control the live NPR newscasts and news programs you hear through the day. But we listen carefully and make our voice heard if a story or line of coverage seems to miss the mark.
And like your New Hampshire-based NHPR journalists, NPR stands for transparency and is committed to the highest ethical standards, as you’ll see from NPR’s Code of Ethics.
NPR also invests in the credibility of public radio journalism by employing a Public Editor. That role, designed to provide a source of independent accountability, is currently held by Kelly McBride, an ethicist who is senior vice president at the nonprofit Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida.
As NPR’s Public Editor, Kelly - whom I’ve personally relied on for ethical guidance throughout my public radio career - writes columns and posts examining the ethics of NPR reporting, calling out errors and explaining the news gathering process.
In keeping with our commitment to producing trustworthy journalism, we’ve begun publishing the Public Editor’s reports in a new sectionhere on NHPR.org. You also can subscribe to the Public Editor’s newsletter by clicking here.
At NHPR, the leaders of our content teams want to hear from you directly if you have a question or concern about our journalism. For matters concerning our New Hampshire news report, contact News Director Dan Barrick; he’s email@example.com. For concerns about our Civics 101 and Outside/In podcasts, be in touch with On-Demand Director Rebecca Lavoie; she’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Vision is that through trustworthy journalism, NHPR enriches lives and helps build stronger communities, in New Hampshire and beyond. Democracy requires trusted sources of news and information, and we work daily to merit our listeners’ and readers’ trust.
You can always reach me at President@nhpr.org.