Don’t look now, but National Public Radio is having a bit of a “diversity” crisis — as in racial diversity. NPR has never had a diversity of viewpoints. Washington Post media reporters Paul Farhi and Elahe Isadi pointed out that there’s an internal furor over departing NPR stars Noel King, Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, and now evening host Audie Cornish.
The Post also noted lesser-known NPR hosts like Maddie Sofia (who hosted the science program Short Wave) and Shereen Marisol Meraji of the Code Switch podcast, which analyzes race and racism in America.
“If NPR doesn’t see this as a crisis, I don’t know what it’ll take,” tweeted Ari Shapiro, Cornish’s All Things Considered co-host. He wrote that the organization was “hemorrhaging hosts from marginalized backgrounds.”
Shapiro quoted a tweet from September by another NPR program host, Sam Sanders, who name-checked recently departed staffers and commented, “Look at all the incredibly talented hosts from marginalized backgrounds who’ve left @npr recently… I believe in the mission of public radio; this trend is antithetical to that mission.”
Garcia-Navarro tweeted, “I’m sad to see this happening but it is not unexpected.” She and Sanders declined further comment, as did Cornish.
NPR contends that they are replaced by other minority hosts, including A Martinez and Leila Fadel at Morning Edition. The Post reported NPR CEO John Lansing received a “cool reception” when he made the point that “turnover is common in the news media,” as some minority journalists leave and others are hired. For example, black 1A host Josh Johnson left for MSNBC and was replaced by Jenn White, a black woman.
The Post said “NPR’s internal statistics show that its workforce is 62 percent White, 15 percent Black/African American, 12 percent Asian American and 7 percent Latino or Hispanic.”
The tricky thing about trying to have a “woke” newsroom is it seems like there’s never a level of satisfaction. The grievances are never-ending, because “systemic racism.” And it seems like the younger the hires, the more aggressively they complain.
This leads to “innovations” in media ethics like allowing NPR staffers to participate in protests like Black Lives Matter events because “it’s really important for people to bring their full humanity to work with them if they’re going to effective, successful journalists.” And who cares if half of America feels their views are ignored or smeared? Chalk that up to “white fragility.”