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Kevin Klose Call-in, July 29, 2002

NPR President Answers North Country Listeners' Questions


National Public Radio President and CEO Kevin Klose paid a visit to the region to meet with North Country Public Radio staff, members and supporters. Listeners had a rare opportunity to question Klose about NPR programs and policies in a two-hour call-in at the NCPR studio, Monday, July 29.

Kevin Klose Call-in, Hour 1 (Real 53:08)
Kevin Klose Call-in, Hour 2 (Real 51:02)

Above: Klose (left) in the NCPR studio with news director Martha Foley and station manager Ellen Rocco. Morning host Todd Moe runs things from beyond in the control room.

Right: Klose addressed listeners at a
number of gatherings around the region.

Many more listeners called in than could be accommodated, even during the extended two-hour format. Many also sent in questions and comments via email. A sampling of those are excerpted below. If you have an additional comment or question, write to radio@ncpr.org and it will be forwarded to Klose in Washington.


Comments and Questions for NPR President Kevin Klose:

From Potsdam: I'm always so grateful to hear stories from local NPR stations, rather than those centered around Washington and the major media centers. I wonder if you could talk a little more about the relationship between NPR and its local stations, and NCPR, as regards the gathering and broadcast of news stories by reporters from the local operations. I'm curious as to the ways in which it works, i.e. who contacts who, etc.?

From Saranac Lake: How has your editorial decision-making process changed since losing so much federal governement funding?

Locale unknown: Several years ago, under the Clinton administration, the head of the FCC wrote and instituted a ruling allowing low power (under 100 watts) radio to emerge and broadcast in this country. This ruling would allow small community radio stations to broadcast in areas such as ours, enhancing the variety of views available on the airwaves NPR joined with the NAB, the group which lobbies for commercial radio, to lobby in washington and kill this bill. This issue is currently ongoing. My question is: Do you believe that small community radio would complement the work of NPR, giving a stronger voice to alternative media, and why would NPR work so hard to kill this ruling.

From Colton: You have a duty to do something besides interview mainstream politicians and sell their corporate agendas. The ship is sinking and you are bailing into the hull.

From Jay: The interview with Kevin Klose was very informative and enjoyable. How about having similar type progams once or twice a year with staff members of NCPR?

From Oxford Mill: Excellent coverage of 9-11. Disagree with those saying that you are showing ANY bias, particularly on Middle East. Instead your coverage is balanced. Wish CBC was half as good. Keep up the excellent work.

From Canton: I have listened to other NPR stations around the country, and none seem to have the down-home spirit that this one has.

From Canton: Public radio is one of my main news sources. Unfortunately I am generally dissatisfied with NPR's news programs. I am frustrated with the lack of breadth and depth on international news coverage. I think many of the commentators and reporters have a strong US government bias that shows itself in pro-globalization as an assumption, big reporting on Wall Street activities, demonization of other international leaders, anti-Cuban reporting, and large gaps in reporting... What I see is missing is coverage of groups working for peace and social justice, and other view points that would balance the US government and US military reporting.

From Brockville: Since moving from Ottawa to Brockville I have been thrilled to discover NCPR and particularly The Connection. I was amazed to hear that you based The Connection on CBC programming... you're much appreciated here in Canada.

From Canton: Please do not continue to eliminate classical music. There are many of us out here who feel that it is an oasis in our busy and confusing world. From talking with callers on your phones during fund-raisers, I know that the 3-5 p.m. music is far more popular than classical (are those listeners perhaps the ones who call during the a.m. hours when I answer phones?). But a mix of music, news and commentary is important.

From Malone: What is referred to by the New Media that some new national underwriters are credited with supporting? Is it anything more than satellite transmission? Will the structure of participating local stations remain the same as national transmission comes into operation? What is the plan referred to in credits for West Coast expansion?

From Saranac: Talk of the Nation has lost it's edge--it's become very conservative and ra-ra America and doesn't seem to ask the hard questions any more or go into depth or lively discussion--the guests all seem to agree. That being said, I would LOVE to hear the second hour of TOTN rather than the local programs. Also, I would like evening program with something interesting rather that Performance Today night after night.

From Ogdensburg: As a confirmed NPR junkie, I depend on the programs for my news - my window on the world. For 20 years I have trusted NPR's news coverage. I was however shocked by the coverage of Venzuela and the lack of follow-up. I have now "found" Greg Palast's coverage but haven't heard any of it on NPR even though the BBC finds him a worthly journalist.

From Potsdam: I am a huge fan of many of the programs, particularly those involving story-telling, which many of the programs do. (Note: I am once again happy to hear "Loose Leaf Notebook" and hope that means that the show will go on.) On another note, I do take issue with some of the reporting, particularly the fact that often, to my consternation, I hear one of NPR's reporter's attribute their source as, "In an interview on 'The Today Show' _____said. . ." In these days of huge news conglomerates, use of a television interview as a source is not a development that I am happy to see. I hope that this issue is addressed and that money-saving cuts do not compromise the excellent reputation of this wonderful resource that belongs to everyone.

From Hinesberg: I want to suggest the following to [Klose]. He stated that they had more items to tell about than they had time on the air and news of peace movement events were squeezed out by news of bombings etc. I suggest that the available time for increased coverage could be greatly increased if there were not so many repeated news reports. When I listen for a few hours I often hear the same news over and over...this is a real drag.

From Cranberry Lake: I would have liked more from [Klose] about the power and influence issues. He spoke as if NPR was essentially free and autonomous in their decision making. I guess it would be hard for him to acknowledge the various kinds of subtle, and not so subtle, pressures on their editorial decisions.