UNITED STATES NEWS

NPR suspends editor who criticized his employer for what he calls an unquestioned liberal worldview

Apr 16, 2024, 4:20 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — National Public Radio has suspended a veteran editor who wrote an outside essay criticizing his employer for, in his view, journalism that reflects a liberal viewpoint with little tolerance for contrary opinions.

Uri Berliner, a senior editor on NPR’s business desk, was suspended five days without pay, according to an article posted Tuesday by NPR’s media correspondent, David Folkenflik. He wrote that Berliner was told he violated the company’s policy that it must approve work done for outside news organizations.

Berliner told NPR that he was not appealing the suspension. An NPR spokeswoman said the company would not comment on individual personnel matters.

He wrote his essay last week for The Free Press. Berliner wrote that NPR has always had a liberal bent, but for most of his 25-year tenure had an open-minded, curious culture.

“In recent years, however, that has changed,” he wrote. “Today, those who listen to NPR or read its coverage online find something different: the distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population.”

His commentary became an instant hit with outside conservative activists who have made similar criticisms of NPR. He specifically criticized his employer for its coverage of former President Donald Trump, of accusations against the president’s son, Hunter Biden, and of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following publication, NPR’s top editor, Edith Chapin, said she strongly disagrees with Berliner’s conclusions and is proud to stand behind NPR’s work.

One of his NPR colleagues,“Morning Edition” co-host Steve Inskeep, wrote on Substack Tuesday that Berliner’s essay in The Free Press was filled with errors and assumptions.

“If Uri’s ‘larger point’ is that journalists should seek wider perspectives, and not just write stories that confirm their prior opinions, his article is useful as an example of what to avoid,” Inskeep wrote.

United States News

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NPR suspends editor who criticized his employer for what he calls an unquestioned liberal worldview